Itamar Ben-Gvir restricts security prisoners visits by Israeli lawmakers

Itamar Ben-Gvir informed the Knesset Speaker that he is cancelling the protocol where MKs are allowed to visit security prisoners back to the old procedure.

 Otzma Yehudit leader MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel's far-right agitator. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Otzma Yehudit leader MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel's far-right agitator.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has on Sunday informed Knesset Speaker MK Amir Ohana he is canceling a protocol under which all MKs are allowed to visit security prisoners.

Ben-Gvir informed Ohana that according to the law, he intends to return to the old protocol where only one MK from each faction was allowed to visit security prisoners, according to Hebrew media.

The Knesset House Committee originally decided in December 2016 that lawmakers were no longer allowed to visit terrorist prisoners after former Balad MK Basel Ghattas smuggled cell phones, SIM cards and documents to two Fatah members in prison on terrorism charges.

"The time has come to stop the pampering of the terrorists. I will not allow visits of support and incitement of terrorism during my time,"

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir

MK Omer Bar Lev decided to change it back and allow all of the ministers in the Knesset to visit the prisoners.

 MK Itamar Ben Gvir, head of the Otzma Yehudit political party surrouned visits in Beit Orot, in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of At-Tur, October 13, 2022. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) MK Itamar Ben Gvir, head of the Otzma Yehudit political party surrouned visits in Beit Orot, in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of At-Tur, October 13, 2022. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

In a statement, Ben-Gvir stressed he believes that some MKs use said meetings to "express support for these prisoners, which could lead to incitement and the promotion of terrorist propaganda."

"The time has come to stop the pampering of the terrorists. I will not allow visits of support and incitement of terrorism during my time," he said.

"We were warned in real time about the embarrassing laxity of MK Bar Lev," Matan Peleg, head of the Im Tirzu movement. "In the midst of a terrorist wave, Bar Lev decided to allow members of the Knesset who support terrorism to visit terrorists in prison and express their support for them. Ben-Gvir's change of direction is welcome and important. He conveys a message that the days of slacking are over! The next step is to implement all the conclusions of the Commission of Inquiry in the conditions of security prisoners in the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) and end the terrorists' camp in prison."