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Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Peres to tell Obama: Pollard must be released

President Peres met with 200 high school students and answered their
questions. One of the pupils asked President Peres about Jonathan Pollard to
which he answered, "I intend to raise the issue of Jonathan Pollard during
my meeting with President Obama during his upcoming visit to Israel. I did
this the last time we met and will do everything I can to convey this clear
message: Jonathan Pollard must be released from prison on humanitarian
grounds."

Office of the President of Israel

President Shimon Peres, this morning (Tuesday, 26 February 2013), visited
the Sdot Negev Regional Council
http://eng.negev-net.org.il/htmls/article2.aspx?C2053=12608&BSP=12580
area, near the Gaza Strip. During the visit President Peres addressed the
Grad rocket fire this morning towards Ashkelon and said, "Quiet will be met
with quiet. They have no interest in raising the flames but if they fire
then they can expect a response." President Peres was asked about the
disturbances in Judea and Samaria and he responded, "I do not want to be a
prophet of fear. They have an interest in maintaining quiet because if there
isn't quiet then they put at risk their development and civil life. I will
receive detailed briefings from the security heads, I can't respond to
rumors."

As part of his tour President Peres visited a local greenhouse in the
agricultural community of Tkuma
http://eng.negev-net.org.il/htmls/article.aspx?C2004=12696&BSP=12608
President Peres expressed his solidarity with farmers in the region in light
of the security situation and said, "Agriculture in this region is the
spearhead of the State of Israel. Under fire you work the land and produce
excellent yields." President Peres took part in a tomato harvest and
received a briefing on the wide variety of produce in the region.

President Peres went on to meet with 30 leading farmers who are developing
new varieties of produce. The farmers surprised the president when they told
him that they had decided to name a new variety of tomato after him. Zion
Cohen, who initiated the idea, said "It is a great honor to name this new
variety of tomato after you as a thank you for your contribution to the
country and the residents of the south. This variety has an exceptionally
long shelf life and can withstand difficult conditions, qualities which
typify you, Mr. President." President Peres thanked the farmers and said,
"Despite the security challenges I see prosperity here. I believe that
Israel can help the entire region out of poverty through the development of
hi-tech agriculture."

President Peres met with 200 high school students and answered their
questions. One of the pupils asked President Peres about Jonathan Pollard to
which he answered, "I intend to raise the issue of Jonathan Pollard during
my meeting with President Obama during his upcoming visit to Israel. I did
this the last time we met and will do everything I can to convey this clear
message: Jonathan Pollard must be released from prison on humanitarian
grounds."

For additional information:

Ayelet Frish Spokesperson and Media Adviser to the President of Israel,
050-6205111

Yair Zivan International Media Coordinator, Office of the President of
Israel, 052-3450061

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