MK Bibi: Don't abandon prison service to backlash

Former IPS head backs separating security prisoners from one another, ending collective use of canteens.

nachshon prison (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
nachshon prison
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Israel Prisons Service should not be abandoned by the government to face the likely backlash by security prisons in response to the worsening of their conditions, Kadima MK and former IPS head Arieh Bibi said on Sunday. Bibi, who headed the service between 1993 and 1997, expressed full support for measures by outgoing Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann to worsen the conditions of Hamas prisoners, but warned they would likely produce reactions like hunger strikes, turning up the heat on the service. "I back everything Friedmann has done. What I'm saying is that when the hunger strikes come along, and with it the need to provide liquids intravenously, the government should stand up and back the IPS. And if someone who went on a hunger strike dies, then they die," Bibi said. "The IPS should not be left to fight the battle alone," he continued. "It should not be forgotten that they need help to carry out their orders." Bibi supports the idea of separating security prisoners from one another, and ending the collective use of canteens. "The issue of why they receive so much money for canteens should also be checked. In addition, there are all sorts of benefits that administrative prisoners receive. Hamas and Islamic Jihad should not be receiving those additional privileges," Bibi said. "I think the next time the government pushes though a change like this, it would be good to consult with someone who has dealt with this firsthand," he added.