In rare remarks, former handler of convicted Israeli spy says Pollard bungled 1985 escape plan

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JERUSALEM — The former handler of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard says an escape plan was in place for him to flee to Israel but he bungled it when he insisted on seeking asylum at Israel's embassy in Washington.

Pollard was a civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy when he gave Israel thousands of classified documents. He was arrested in 1985 and sentenced to life in prison. Many details of the case that severely strained relations between the allies remain a mystery.

In an interview aired Monday on Israeli Channel 2 TV's investigative program "Uvda," former Mossad agent Rafi Eitan says he gave the order to deny Pollard entry into the embassy.

Eitan said the minute Pollard arrived at the embassy doors "he decided for himself that he is going to prison."

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