(JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote President Obama urging clemency for Jonathan Pollard.
"At the time of his arrest, Jonathan Pollard was acting as an agent of the Israeli government," Netanyahu wrote in his letter, sent Tuesday. "Even though Israel was in no way directing its intelligence efforts against the United States, its actions were wrong and wholly unacceptable. Both Mr. Pollard and the Government of Israel have repeatedly expressed remorse for these actions, and Israel will continue to abide by its commitment that such wrongful actions will never be repeated."

Netanyahu read his letter Tuesday evening to a Knesset plenum discussion. Israel’s first formal request for Pollard’s release came a day after similar urgings from more than 500 clergy in a letter to Obama.