(TIMES OF ISRAEL) — The U.S. reportedly refused an Israeli request to free imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard in exchange for Israel releasing Palestinian prisoners, ahead of new peace talks with the Palestinians.

Channel 2 News reported Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked for the American gesture as a way of garnering support from his right-wing Cabinet members for the resumption of talks, during a conversation with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last week.

The Prime Minister’s Office partially confirmed the report, saying Netanyahu brought up the issue of releasing Pollard at every meeting with senior U.S. officials.

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