Palestinian prisoners in Israel's Ketziot prison 311 (R).
(photo credit: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)
The Knesset’s Internal Affairs and Environment Committee is bracing for a stormy
session Monday, when it will hear a series of bill proposals aimed at worsening
conditions for Palestinian security prisoners.
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The bills’ proponents, who
include Danny Danon (Likud), Arye Eldad (National Union) and Yoel Hasson
(Kadima), say the changes are aimed at creating “reciprocity” between conditions
experienced by Israelis in the custody of terror organizations and Palestinian
terrorists in Israeli jails.
The proposals are inspired by the harsh
conditions experienced by St.-Sgt. Gilad Schalit, who had no access to
international humanitarian officials and was denied any contact with family
during his five years in Hamas captivity in Gaza, proponents
Proposed changes include a cancellation of visitation rights,
though the bills would allow meetings with Red Cross representatives once every
three months, as well as with lawyers.
Other amendments would allow the
prime minister or defense minister to order a security prisoner to be held in
solitary confinement under certain conditions, and be denied communication
means, reading material and entertainment.
“Originally, these proposals
were aimed at speeding up the release of Gilad Schalit. But now, they will be
weighed as independent bill proposals,” the committee’s spokesman, Shmuel Hen,
About 4,000 Palestinian security prisoners are currently in Israeli
prisons serving a range of sentences for terrorist activities.
550 will soon be released as part of the two-stage Schalit swap deal with Hamas.