Israel refuses UK demand to visit Hamas terrorists: 'British Mandate ended in 1948'

Foreign Ministry says names and basic information on their conditions should be provided to Red Cross citing international law and need to ease world criticism but Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir refuses to allow visits. Security official: 'We'll manage without Britain's arms'

Sin Bet A heated dispute arose between the Shin Bet and the Foreign Ministry and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir Britain's demand for Israel to allow Red Cross or diplomatic visits to the detained terrorists of Hamas elite Nukhba force, as part of the conditions for continuing arms supplies to Israel.
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The disagreement came to light during a special meeting convened on Tuesday by the head of the National Security Council Tzachi Hanegbi, attended by all security agencies. The meeting addressed both the British demand reported by Ynet and the petition to the High Court of Justice by the Association for Civil Rights demanding visits to prisoners in Israel and Gaza.
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משטרת ישראל קלטה מחבלי נוחבה מתחילת מלחמת חרבות ברזל
משטרת ישראל קלטה מחבלי נוחבה מתחילת מלחמת חרבות ברזל
Detained Nukhba terrorists
(Photo: Israel Prison Service)
There was unanimous agreement among all officials that visits must not be allowed. A senior security official even told Ynet, "The British mandate ended in 1948; we can manage without Britain's weapons. There will be no visits to terrorists."
Nevertheless, there was still disagreement regarding the provision of names and information about the prisoners' conditions. The Shin Bet and the Foreign Ministry argued that given the pressure on Israel and the British threat, sharing information such as the prisoners' names and their condition is a reasonable price for crisis resolution. Legal experts clarified that according to international law, the British claim was legitimate, and Israel was obligated to provide the information.
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צחי הנגבי איתמר בן גביר
צחי הנגבי איתמר בן גביר
National Security Minister Itamar Itamar Ben-Gvir, National Security Chief Tzachi Hanegbi
(Photo: Dana Kopel, Alex Kolomoisky)
National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, vehemently opposed any such concession to the UK's demand due to the principle of reciprocity: as long as Hamas does not provide information about Israeli hostages, Israel would not provide information about imprisoned terrorists, he said. He presented a dissenting legal opinion stating that the Hague Convention's terms are subject to interpretation and do not have binding force in these clauses.
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