Cabinet approves Friedmann's proposals to cut Hamas prisoner rights

The cabinet on Sunday approved proposals presented by Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann to impose sanctions on Hamas members imprisoned in Israel. During Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's final meeting, Friedmann said, "Just because we're the only democracy in the Middle East, doesn't mean we have to be the only suckers." "We must not radiate weakness," he added. The plan proposed removing all prisoner benefits beyond the "legal requirements," including cutting family visit to the legal minimum, and taking away radio and television rights. Before the meeting, Kadima MK Meir Sheetrit voiced support for Friedmann's plan, saying "it's not reasonable that Schalit is living [in the Gaza Strip] without seeing his parents and Hamas prisoners live here almost like they're in kindergarten."