MKs seek to worsen security prisoners conditions

Knesset c'tee set to hear host of proposals aimed at creating "reciprocity" with conditions experienced by Schalit.

Palestinian prisoners in Israel's Ketziot prison 311 (R) (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)
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.
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.
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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 said.
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, said.
About 4,000 Palestinian security prisoners are currently in Israeli prisons serving a range of sentences for terrorist activities.
Of those, 550 will soon be released as part of the two-stage Schalit swap deal with Hamas.