"I am looking forward to being reunited with my beloved wife Esther," Pollard says upon hearing the news.
The Parole Commission relayed the decision to Pollard\’s lawyers, Elliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked was also told and broke the news on Twitter.
"I am looking forward to being reunited with my beloved wife Esther," Pollard said through his attorneys. "I would like to thank the many thousands of well-wishers in the United States, in Israel, and throughout the world, who provided grass roots support by attending rallies, sending letters, making phone calls to elected officials, and saying prayers for my welfare. I am deeply appreciative of every gesture, large or small."
The attorneys have been told that Pollard must remain in the US for five years under the parole ruling but that US president Barack Obama has the power to allow him to move to Israel sooner by commuting his sentence to time served.
"We are grateful and delighted that our client will soon be released," the lawyers said in an official statement. "The decision to grant parole was made unanimously by the three members of the Parole Commission, who make their decisions independently of any other US government agency. The decision is not connected to recent developments in the Middle East."
Had Pollard\’s parole been denied, he would have been required to serve an additional fifteen years in prison. His parole hearing took place July 7 at the Federal Correctional Center in Butner, North Carolina, where he has been incarcerated. He has been serving a sentence of life in prison for conspiracy to deliver classified information to the State of Israel.