Mideast Report

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Lawyers for Jonathan Pollard have agreed to wait for two months before Israel's High Court of Justice holds further hearings regarding a petition demanding that Israel recognize the convicted spy as an agent for the Jewish state and work for his release.

The two-month delay was granted in order to give a ministerial committee time to work for Pollard's release.

The former U.S. navy intelligence analyst has been serving a life sentence since 1987 in an American prison for spying for Israel.

In recent months, Israeli Cabinet ministers Limor Livnat and Yuli Edelstein met with Pollard in a North Carolina federal prison.

Pollard's wife responded angrily to the latest delay in the petition, which was first heard in October. She said the ministerial committee is the third such body to be formed by successive Israeli governments and termed the move a "stalling tactic."

When Israel "wants to bring an agent home, it knows how — look at the Mashaal affair, the Swiss affair," she said, referring to two incidents in the past six months in which Israel won the release of captured agents from Jordan and Switzerland.