'Terrorists Treated Like VIPs'

MKs visit Hamas prisoners incensed to see "VIP" conditions. Hamas' Mideast leaders gather to discuss Shalit negotiations.

Maayana Miskin, | updated: 19:15

IDF soldier Gilad Shalit
IDF soldier Gilad Shalit
Israel news photo: screenshot of Hamas video

On Sunday, members of the Knesset Lobby for kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit traveled to the high-security Ofer prison near Jerusalem, which holds many terrorists. MKs Shaul Mofaz (Kadima), Miri Regev (Likud), and Eitan Cabel (Labor) were unpleasantly surprised to discover that Hamas terrorists continue to enjoy good conditions in Israeli prisons.

The Hamas prisoners have "VIP conditions," Regev told the Hebrew-language daily Maariv. “Their life in jail is really good. Their families visit every two weeks. They have a prison canteen, and Hamas gives each of them 350 shekels to spend each month.”

The three called to strip Hamas terrorists of their privileges, and treat them the way Hamas treats Shalit – with the exception of those basic rights outlined in international law, which, they said, Israel should continue to grant its prisoners despite Hamas' refusal to do the same.

“If we hit at their soft underbelly, their visits with their families and children, only then might Hamas improve Shalit's conditions,” Regev said.

Hamas Meets to Dicuss Shalit Options
A group of senior Hamas leaders has left Gaza to tour the Arab world and meet with the terrorist group's foreign leaders, according to the Bethlehem-based Maan news. The Gaza delegation is led by Mahmoud A-Zahar and Khalil Alhaya.

Sources in Gaza told Maan that one of the topics Hamas' leaders will discuss is the issue of Gilad Shalit. German mediators are reportedly working to push forward negotiations for Shalit's release. Hamas has demanded that Israel free more than 1,000 imprisoned terrorists, including many who were involved in committing murder.

Hamas leaders claimed this week that some progress had been made in negotiations.

The Hamas delegates had planned to hold meetings in Damascus one month ago. However, its trip was delayed due to popular uprisings in the Arab world.

In Damascus, A-Zahar and Alhaya will meet with Hamas' politburo leader, Khaled Mashal. The delegates also plan to travel to Sudan.




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