Photo: Ido Erez
Security prisoners in Gilboa Prison
Photo: Ido Erez

Holiday feasts and gym sessions: The good life of Palestinian prisoners

Israel Prison Service releases data showing that security prisoners enjoy a variety of entertainment and leisure options, which include TVs in each cell and exercise equipment, drawing the ire of Zionist organizations

The Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israel, including those convicted of terror offenses, receive holiday meals that cost the government half a million shekels a year, have access to gym equipment and enjoy TV sets in every prison cell, according to the latest data revealed by Israeli authorities.



The Israel Prison Service published the data- which encompasses a decade long observation (2008-2018) - after a right-wing non-profit organization Im Tirtzu submitted a request for the statistics to be released.


The data reveals the prisoners receive two holiday meals a year - one at the end of the holiday of Ramadan and another for Eid al-Adha, also called the "Festival of the Sacrifice" - worth NIS 47 (approx. $10) each, totalling some NIS 540,000 annually.

Security prisoners in Gilboa Prison (Photo: Ido Erez)
Security prisoners in Gilboa Prison (Photo: Ido Erez)


The prisoners also enjoy comfortable conditions when it comes to entertainment and leisure, with a variety of exercise equipment - including ping-pong tables, stationary bicycles and pull-up bars (in addition to checkers and chess) - available to them.


Each prison cell is also equipped with a television worth NIS 480. Hamas prisoners are apparently allowed to watch five channels, while Fatah prisoners have access to at least 10 channels.


Im Tirtzu's legal advisor Yaakov Cohen submitted the information request in June 2018. The IPS, however, claimed that there were complexities in collecting the data for 2018, which resulted in the request being rejected. The hardline NGO then petitioned the court, prompting the IPS to publish the data.


"It seems as though the IPS claims regarding the complexity of data-gathering doesn’t line up with the extensive statistics they provided," said Im Tirzu in a statement. 


Prison officers conduct security check in Ktzi'ot Prison (Photo: Israel Prison Service)
Prison officers conduct security check in Ktzi'ot Prison (Photo: Israel Prison Service)


Im Tirtzu Chairman Matan Peleg called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to put a stop to what he called “the prisoners’ celebrations."


"It’s inappropriate for terrorists with blood on their hands to enjoy hotel conditions at the expense of the taxpayer,” he said.


פרסום ראשון: 05.23.19, 13:25
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