Photo: Dudu Fried
No sweets for Eid il-Fitr this year
Photo: Dudu Fried
No Knafeh either
Photo: Nadav Feldman

PA minister: Israel wants to destroy Fayyad gov't

Palestinian minister for prisoners' affairs protests Israel's prohibition of delivering sweets to security prisoners for Muslim holiday, says 'Israel is a liar and wants to destroy the peace process'

"The Israeli government is a lying government that is out to destroy the Fayyad government and the peace process," said Ashraf al-Ajarmi, PA minister of prisoner affairs.


The minister said this in response to the Internal Security Ministry and Israel Prison Service's decision to prohibit the delivery of sweets to Palestinian prisoners for the Muslim holiday of Eid il-Fitr.


This is the first time since 1967 that Israeli bodies prevent the Palestinian government of delivering sweets to prisoners.


"The Israeli government is a government of liars that is interested in harming the efforts of the PA and Fayyad's government to bring about economic and security improvements in the Palestinian territories," al-Ajarmi said.


The minister said that even during the period of the Hamas government Israel allowed the entry of sweets to Palestinian prisoners. He said that over the past few weeks Israel has been making it hard for him to pay for and arrange a kiosk for the prisoners.


"The Prison Service's legal advisor said the money, that is meant for a kiosk, encourages terror," he said. "They are also demanding that we pay for a kiosk for the criminal prisoners, and this is a sensitive matter, we are not responsible for criminal prisoners."


Al-Ajarmi said that despite promises he had received from Internal Security Avi Dichter regarding possible concessions toward the prisoners, "the Israeli government is doing everything in its power to make things difficult for us".


'Israel doing everything to embarrass Abbas'

"They (Israelis) talk about helping the Rais (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas), but making every effort to embarrass and weaken us to prevent the advancement of the peace process, this in addition to the daily raids on Palestinian towns, the targeted killings and the roadblocks that they refuse to remove to this day," he said.


According to Al-Ajarmi, the Israeli government "has not taken any step to help the efforts of Fayyad's government to improve the economic and security situation in the territories".


The minister said Israel has recently begun attempting to influence the content of the Palestinian matriculation exams. "Israel is forbidding exams in physics and chemistry under the claim that they would contribute to terror activity," he said. "What good is a diploma without these subjects?"


Al-Ajarmi said the prisoners issue could have a positive affect on Palestinian public opinion, but "instead the Israelis remain rigid on this matter, which could lead to violence in the prisons that may beget violence throughout the entire Palestinian Authority.


"Such an outcome would severely reduce the Palestinians' faith in the peace process," he said.


Prison's Authority spokesman Yaron Zamir said in response, "It is the police of Commissioner Benny Kaniak not to allow food and drink products into the prisons. Just as Jewish prisoners do not get donuts on Hannukah, the security prisoners will not be permitted to receive sweets from family members due to security and health risks."


He added that the Palestinian prisoners would be able to purchase sweets at the prison kiosks.


פרסום ראשון: 10.11.07, 16:36
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