MKs nix bill on Hamas prisoners' conditions

MKs nix bill on Hamas pr

The Knesset rejected a bill Wednesday that would have worsened Hamas prisoners' conditions in Israeli jails in an effort to pressure Hamas over captive IDF soldier Gilad Schalit. The bill, which was sponsored by MK Arye Eldad (National Union) was similar to another bill, proposed by MK Danny Danon, that never made it past the Ministerial Committee for Legislation. It sought to limit visits to Hamas prisoners, and remove some prison perks during the period that Schalit was denied any visits, including by Red Cross representatives. The security services made it known that they opposed the bill, arguing that it would make the conditions more difficult for negotiators working to secure Schalit's release. Only 14 MKs supported the bill, among them Kadima MKs Shai Hermesh and Shaul Mofaz. Hermesh explained that such legislation would have offered Israel an "additional lever" to use against Hamas.