Friedmann. 'No suckers'
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Committee recommends limiting prisoners' visits, studies

Justice minister, Prison Service present cabinet ministers with recommendations on ways to worsen Palestinian security prisoners' conditions in bid to pressure Hamas. Friedmann: We're the only Mideast democracy, but we're no suckers

The Israel Prison Service (IPS) on Sunday recommended to the government to cut back on Palestinian prisoners' visitation rights, academic studies and means of communication.


The recommendations were made following the appointment of a committee headed by Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann, which is expected to submit its recommendations to the approval of the next government.


"Although we are the only democracy in the Middle East, we don't have to be the only suckers," said Friedmann.


The minister and IPS officials briefed the ministers on their work ahead of the recommendations of the committee appointed to form criteria for worsening the jailing conditions of Palestinian security prisoners, in a bid to pressure Hamas and the Islamic Jihad to release kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.

The committee is expected to complete its work in the coming week and present its conclusions to the approval of Benjamin Netanyahu's new government. In practice, some of the sanctions are already being implemented.


The IPS representatives who attended the discussion briefed the government ministers on the benefits and rights of the prisoners who could be hurt. According to the IPS, these prisoners' academic studies and family visitation rights could be limited and they could be deprived of physical contact.


The IPS also recommended preventing the prisoners from consuming newspapers, television and radio broadcasts. According to the officials, this could be carried out immediately in accordance with Israeli and international laws.


Another recommendation presented was to amend the law to prohibit administrative release and lawyers' visits.


The IPS representatives and the justice minister warned, however, that Israel would not be able to harm Red Cross visits and matters related to religion, rituals and the delivery of letters.


Prime Minister Ehud Olmert noted that he had instructed the IPS to limit the benefits, as long as this does not violate international treaties and laws.


The justice minister concluded by saying, "We mustn't convey weakness."


פרסום ראשון: 03.29.09, 13:38
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