By GIL HOFFMAN
04/06/2012 16:14Suffering from extreme pain, Israeli agent rushed to hospital; source say too soon to know his condition.Imprisoned Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard was rushed to a hospital emergency room near his Butner, North Carolina prison early Friday after suffering from extreme pain, sources close to him told The Jerusalem Post.
The sources said it was too soon to know his condition, but at least one source called it “life- threatening.”
Pollard, 57, was last hospitalized in August last year for emergency kidney surgery.
His long list of ailments include: Diabetes, nausea, dizziness, blackouts and ongoing issues with his gall bladder, kidneys, sinuses, eyes and feet.
He also suffers from Meniere’s disease, which causes him to lose consciousness and fall without warning.
But a source close to Pollard said his hospitalization was not connected to any of his past ailments.
Pollard’s wife, Esther, said her husband is in very poor health, and he has been hospitalized several times in recent years.
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger called upon Jews around the world to pray during the Passover holiday for the health and freedom of Pollard, whose Hebrew name is Yehonatan Ben-Malka.
On Thursday, freed soldier Gilad Schalit and his family signed a petition calling on President Shimon Peres to press for Pollard’s release.
“Due to the superior values the medal represents, we feel we cannot reconcile you receiving it when the United States is still holding Pollard in prison,” the petition states. “We ask you to take advantage of your unprecedented diplomatic standing in order to work for Jonathan’s immediate release before you are given the medal. Otherwise receiving the medal would make a mockery of Israel.”
Peres has said he would do whatever possible to secure Pollard’s release before he receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from US President Barack Obama. The petition has now been signed by more than 35,000 people.
Obama has so far not responded to calls by many top current and former Israeli and American officials to commute Pollard’s sentence to time served.