Pollard, a former U.S. Navy analyst, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for leaking secret US documents. He was released on parole in 2015 but continued to be barred from leaving US territory, among other restrictions, despite Israeli pressure.
On Friday, the US Department of Justice announced that it had lifted the conditions it had imposed on his release. According to the Israeli statement, Netanyahu “pledged to demand the release (of Jonathan Pollard) years ago” and worked “tirelessly” to bring him back to Israel.
The former Jewish spy passed thousands of critical US documents to the Jewish state intelligence services, testing relations between the two close allies.
Polard, 66, often expressed a desire to move to Israel, where he became a citizen in 1995 and is considered a national hero. According to Israeli public radio, however, Pollard may not be able to travel immediately as he does not have a passport.
In addition, he will probably wait for his wife Esther, who suffers – according to his lawyers – from an “aggressive form of cancer”, to complete the chemotherapy she is undergoing.