Convicted Spy Jonathan Pollard Hospitalized; Israeli Officials Continue Calls For His Release

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Israelis protest in front of the US embassy in the coastal city of Tel Aviv on June 19, 2011 to call for the release of Jewish-American spy Jonathan Pollard, jailed in the United States on charges of passing thousands of secret documents about American spy activities in the Arab world to Israel in the 1980s. (credit: DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)

Israelis protest in front of the US embassy in the coastal city of Tel Aviv on June 19, 2011 to call for the release of Jewish-American spy Jonathan Pollard, jailed in the United States on charges of passing thousands of secret documents about American spy activities in the Arab world to Israel in the 1980s. (credit: DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — The U.S. Bureau of Prisons says convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Jay Pollard has been hospitalized at a prison medical center in Butner, N.C., since April 4.

A lawyer for Pollard, 57, says that for over a year his client has suffered from increasingly debilitating and incapacitating medical problems that have resulted in emergency surgeries and other emergency medical procedures.

Pollard’s hospitalization brought renewed calls for his release from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres. Peres dispatched a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to release Pollard

Democratic and Republican administrations in the U.S. have repeatedly refused Israeli appeals to release the convicted spy.

Pollard was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to one count of espionage in 1987.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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