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Hamas prisoners refuse Prisons Service meals
By YAAKOV LAPPIN
03/07/2011
Prisons Service spokeswoman rejects reports of a hunger strike, says prisoners eating food purchased with own money is a "routine."
 
Hamas prisoners are refusing Prisons Service meals as part of a protest, but are still eating food they have collectively purchased with their own money, a spokeswoman for the service told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

The prisoners declared in advance they would reject the three Prisons Service meals on Sunday to protest steps to take away privileges such as high-speed Internet connection and an extensive higher education program.

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The Gilad Schalit test

The removal of the privileges was announced by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last week because Hamas has refused the Red Cross any access to abducted soldier Gilad Schalit for five years.

The Prisons Service said rejecting prison meals was a routine affair, adding, “This is not a hunger strike.” The prisoners regularly pool their money and order food from outside, which is stored in a canteen.

“They ate their own food at the canteen this morning” the spokeswoman said.

Also on Sunday, Ma’ariv reported that Hamas prisoners have threatened to attack prison wardens if security searches on them are increased.

Last week, several reports of a “hunger strike” by Palestinian security prisoners appeared in the media, but were rejected as being false by the Prisons Service.

Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said he was not concerned by the threat of a hunger strike, Israel Radio reported.

“They can strike as much as they like,” he said.
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