Daily Israel Report

Government Approves Tougher Terrorist Prison Conditions

After several hours of debate, the ministerial committee for legislation resolves to support stiffer prison conditions for Hamas terrorists.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 5/23/2010, 4:40 PM / Last Update: 5/23/2010, 4:49 PM

Flash 90

After several hours of debate, the government’s ministerial committee for legislation has resolved to support a law imposing stiffer prison conditions upon Hamas terrorists.

The legislation is known as the “Shalit Law,” because it is largely designed to pressure Hamas supporters to pressure Hamas to speed up negotiations for the release of Gilad Shalit. Hamas-affiliated terrorists have held Shalit incommunicado in Gaza after capturing him nearly four years ago on the Gaza border.

The exact nature of the legislation has yet to be determined. Today’s decision means that a bill or bill restricting privileges given to Hamas or other terrorists in prisons will pass its preliminary reading in the Knesset within a short time, with government support.

Two options are being considered. One bill, by MK Danny Danon (Likud), stipulates that members of a terrorist organization that is holding an Israeli captive without minimal visitation rights will not be entitled to visitation rights of their own, except for those required by international law.

Another bill, by MKs Levine (Likud), Matalon (Israel Our Home), and Hasson (Kadima), proposes the negation of privileges such as visits, TV, academic studies and more, from all terrorist prisoners.

The decision was supported by Justice Minister Yaakov Ne’eman, despite objections by some legal elements, and by Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch, despite Israel Prison Service concern over possible riots.

“He who has mercy on the cruel, will end up being cruel to the merciful,” summed up Minister Rabbi Daniel Herskovitz,  formerly Rabbinic Court Judge (Dayan) and Technion mathematics professor, quoting the Jewish Sages.

Terrorists Demand "Raise"
At the same time, the terrorists are demanding that the PA, which gives stipends to terrorists and their families,  give them "raises". In a letter to PA prime minister Salam Fayyad, a group of terrorist prisoners demanded higher allocations for their families. “It is only just,” they write, “that the pay given to all prisoners be equalized.” They are demanding a scale according to which the longer the prison sentence--i.e. the worse the crime--the higher the stipend.

The imprisoned terrorist signatories propose that families of those imprisoned for between three months and three years receive 1,400 shekels per month; 3-5 years – 2,000; 5-10 years – 4,000 shekels a month; and the like, up to 10,000 shekels a month for those in prison for over 25 years, and 12,000 shekels for those in jail for 30 years or more.