Photo Credit: Moshe Shai/FLASH90
Security prisoners during a family visit at Ofer Prison (archive).

Every few years, Israeli media blast the government—so far it’s been the Netanyahu government, soon his replacement—for treating its terrorist prisoners with the kindness and luxury one finds in a prestigious hotel, rather than as killers of Jews who should serve out their years in contemplation of their evil deeds.

Only two and a half years ago, then-Homeland Security Minister Gilad Erdan (soon to leave his much happier assignment as ambassador to the US and the UN) embraced the recommendations of the Committee for Curbing the Conditions of Terrorists Imprisoned in Israel. Those included five key points:

  1. Terminate the separation between Hamas and Fatah prisoners
  2. Cancel the post of spokesman for the security prisoners
  3. Cut down the amounts of cash deposits in inmates’ accounts
  4. Ban cooking in terrorists’ cells
  5. Reduce terrorists’ water consumption

According to Im Tirtzu, which filed a freedom of information inquiry with the Israel Prisons Service, three out of these five recommendations have not been implemented, despite the former minister’s orders.

The IPS reported that the separation between Hamas and Fatah prisoners continues uninterrupted. The job of spokesman for the prisoners is alive and well and quite vociferous, thank you very much. And the Jew-killing folks continue to cook in their cells.

Here are additional details that were shared by the IPS with Im Tirtzu: In 2018, 6,454 security prisoners received 45,339 family visits. In 2019, 5,351 prisoners received 36,609 visits. Then, in 2020, there was a sharp decline in visits because of the Corona pandemic, and only 3,574 prisoners received only 10,788 visits.

Alon Schwartzer, policy chief for Im Tirtzu, said that “curbing the conditions of terrorists behind bars is an interest of every Israeli who wishes to deter Arab terrorism. Unfortunately, two and a half years after the publication of the committee’s recommendations the situation in the prisons remains almost as it was, with the terrorists receiving extremely excessive perks.”

“In a normal country, both the government and the Prisons Service would have acted resolutely to implement the committee’s recommendations but in our twisted reality there’s an attempt to dwindle them down,” Schwartzer said, adding, “Im Tirtzu is calling on the political echelon to assemble the cabinet urgently to promote the applications of the committee’s recommendations. At the same time, IPS must act regardless of political inducement to curb the perks the terrorists are showered with, the sooner the better.”

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