After a special ministerial committee proposed sanctions against security prisoners held in Israel, in hopes of advancing a deal for the release of captive soldier Gilad Shalit, dozens of people protested outside the Sharon Prison Monday morning and blocked the entrance of visitors.
The protesters urged the implementation of the committee's recommendations. "The government talks and the citizens do – we will not allow prison visits", the demonstrators said.
Head of the Kibbutz Movement's special assignment division Yoel Marshak was also present at the demonstration, and told Ynet, "By the time the government implements its decisions, a year will have passed.
"This must be done today already. We are here to protest and arouse public opinion, and to show Hamas that we can also block visitation to their prisoners, as long as they are not allowing anyone to see Gilad Shalit."
The protest was initiated by the Im Tirtzu extra-parliamentary movement, that was joined by the World Likud, Beitar Movement and representatives of the Kibbutz Movement – all wishing to display a unified front in the demand to have the conditions of security prisoners changed to match those under which Shalit is held.
"We cannot wait for the government to approve making the conditions equal," said Marshak. "It has to be done now. We have to show Hamas that we, the citizens, have the power to stop the visits, as long as no one is allowed to visit Gilad Shalit.
"In principle, prisoner visitation is a humanitarian move that we agree to, but with Gilad Shalit held for 1,000 days now without anyone knowing where he is, we cannot have Palestinian prisoners enjoying visitation, watching television, and reading the newspapers."
World Likud Chairman MK Danny Danon said, "Our goal is to shed light on the foolishness of the government, that set up a committee to examine the matter only one week ago. We cannot have Palestinian prisoners receiving VIP treatment and regular visits from their families, while Shalit is still captive."
Gilad Shalit was kidnapped into the Gaza Strip 1,002 days ago.