Demonstrators demand access to Gilad Schalit

Demonstrators outside Shikma prison try to stop Palestinians visiting their husbands in jail.

schalit protest kerem shalom 224 88 ap (photo credit: AP)
schalit protest kerem shalom 224 88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
Dozens of activists held a demonstration outside Ashkelon's Shikma prison on Wednesday to protest the conditions enjoyed by Palestinian security prisoners there. The protesters demanded that privileges such as regular family visits be suspended as long as Hamas refused to allow the Red Cross or other officials to meet with kidnapped IDF soldier St.-Sgt. Gilad Schalit. A confrontation broke out between the demonstrators and Israel Prisons Service (IPS) staff after prison officials, fearing violence, attempted to keep the activists from speaking to a group of Palestinian women who had come to visit their husbands behind bars. The demonstrators vowed to continue efforts to block visitors from coming to see Palestinian security prisoners until Hamas allowed access to Schalit. Protest organizer Yoel Mershek said the activists were not seeking a confrontation, but rather to draw attention to Schalit's plight.