Ben-Gvir insist on curbing security prisoners' privileges

Despite Netanyahu's insistence that no measures would be taken until the position of security agencies is heard, national security minister instructs Prison Authority to institute new directives
Yossi Yehushua|
National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir instructed the Prison Authority to cut family visitation for security prisoners from once a month to once every two months, despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's claim that no such move will be made before hearing the position of security services. A meeting on the matter was scheduled for next week.
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"Prison Authority Chief Katy Perry received the minister's directives and will work to execute them," the authority said in a statement.
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איתמר בן גביר בנימין נתניהו
איתמר בן גביר בנימין נתניהו
Benjamin Netanyahu, Itamar Ben-Gvir
(Photo: Olivier Fitoussi, Shaul Golan)
Ben-Gvir said on Friday, that he intends to cut back some privileges the prisoners enjoy, including access to different kinds of shampoos at the prison cantina, shorter breaks in the prison yard, more prisoners in each cell and reducing family visits, among other steps. The Shin Bet opposed the move claiming it would only increase tension during an already volatile time.
The minister's move indicates a direct confrontation with the prime minister, placing Perry between a rock and a hard place because the National Security Ministry has authority over prisons, and its chief answers to the Ben-Gvir.
"As a minister in charge of all of law-enforcement, the Prison Authority cannot deviate from the letter of the law, and regulations demand prisoners receive a family visit once in two months, and not as frequently as was allowed," Ben-Gvir said in a statement. "As soon as I learned of the added privileges granted to prisoners, I ordered that the law be followed to the letter."
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כלא עופר
כלא עופר
Ofer Prison where Palestinians are jailed for security offenses
(Photo: Alex Kolomoisky )
The minister's move was supported by firebrand Likud lawmaker Tali Gottlieb who said in a post that the security services were working for terrorists. Netanyahu responded to her post by calling it irresponsible, "The security forces are working tirelessly to protect Israelis," he said.
Security prisoners threatened protest measures should Ben-Gvir's directives be enforced. "The Prisoners movement will not allow any infringement on our rights and will remain united in its opposition to the arrogance of the occupation's government," they said adding the minister's instructions contradicts the norms of International and humanitarian laws. Palestinian leaders called on international humanitarian groups to "take a firm stance."
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