Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard opposes being freed from a US jail in exchange for Palestinians prisoners, Housing Minister Uri Ariel said Tuesday.

Ariel said people close to Pollard have told him that he opposes such a “shameful deal.”

Ariel, from the hard-line Jewish Home party, spoke to Army Radio on Tuesday. He said he, too, is against the release of “murderers” for Pollard.

Talk of the possibility of Pollard’s early release has arisen as an incentive in the troubled Mideast peace negotiations. The idea is that if he is freed, Israel would make concessions and release more Palestinian prisoners.

Pollard was a civilian intelligence analyst for the US Navy when he gave classified documents to Israeli handlers. He was arrested in 1985 and later sentenced to life in prison.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.