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U.S. to release Israeli spy to keep alive Middle East peace talks

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An Israeli spy who has been in a U.S. federal prison for espionage since the early 1980’s may be the key for keeping Israel/Palestinian peace talks alive, the AP learned Monday.

Under U.S. pressure to keep the peace process moving, Jonathan Pollard would be sent back to Israel if the Israelis would in turn send groups of Palestinian prisoners back across their border to freedom.

An unnamed source, who had spoken to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, told him it might be an agreement. Under the proposed arrangement that Pollard, a former U.S. Navy analyst caught spying for Israel in the 1980s, could be released by mid-April.

That would set up the promised release of a fourth group of Palestinians, among the 104 it pledged to free in a deal that led to the renewal of peace talks last July.

More freed prisoners are forecast and the peace talks would be extended to beyond an April 29 deadline, the source said.

If true, it seems hard to believe President Obama, looking for some sort of foreign policy victory, would let this slip through his diplomatic fingers.

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