JERUSALEM — The former wife of Jonathan Pollard, an American convicted of spying for Israel, called Saturday on the Israeli government to pay for an attorney to facilitate his freedom amid speculation he could be released soon.

Jonathan Pollard was arrested in 1985 as he tried unsuccessfully to gain asylum in Israel’s Washington embassy. Since then, the case has stoked passions and divided opinions in both countries.

Supporters argue that he was punished excessively given that he spied for a country that’s a U.S. ally and point to other cases where spies from less-friendly countries were treated more leniently.

Critics, including prosecutors and government officials, call him a traitor who they say damaged U.S. national security by disclosing a trove of sensitive documents.

He becomes eligible for parole in November, on the 30th anniversary of his arrest on charges of selling classified information to Israel.

This week, there was widespread media speculation that Pollard could be released sooner.

Anne Pollard told Israeli TV that while “there is no official word that Jonathan is being released on any date,” once he is released he will want to move to Israel.

“Otherwise nothing would make sense to him,” she said.

Pollard’s release now could be seen as a concession to Israel, which strongly opposed the just-concluded U.S. nuclear deal with Iran. The U.S. has previously dangled his release, including during Israel-Palestinian talks last year.

Pollard’s supporters maintain the information he relayed was material that the U.S. had traditionally shared with the Israelis as part of an intelligence agreement but was being held back.