Israel Unfazed by Hunger Strike

Internal Security Minister unconcerned over Hamas security prisoners hunger strike. “They can strike as much as they want,” he says.

Elad Benari , | updated: 04:14

Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovich
Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovich
Israel news photo: Flash 90 / archive

Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich said on Monday that he is not concerned over an announcement made by Hamas security prisoners that they will go on a hunger strike.

“Currently there is no strike in the prisons,” Aharonovich said. “If they want a hunger strike, they can strike as much as they want. Nothing will deter me and the Prison Service which is getting full backup from me.”

On Sunday, Hamas terrorist prisoners incarcerated in Israeli prisons declared that they would go on a hunger strike starting Monday “to protest the prison management.”

Riyadh al-Ashqar, Information Director for Hamas’ Ministry of Prisoner Affairs, told reporters the strike will also protest the fact that “many of the movement’s leaders were transferred to separate, solitary confinement.”

The announcement of the hunger strike came following an earlier announcement by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that special privileges to Hamas inmates are about to end.

The decision to revoke the benefits and privileges enjoyed by terrorists in Israeli prisons came following Hamas’ refusal to allow the International Red Cross to visit kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Shalit has been imprisoned for over five years and has not had one single visit from the Red Cross.

However, the Israel Prisons Service reported Monday morning that despite the announcement about the hunger strike, the prisoners had not sent their breakfast trays back full.

The IPS noted in a statement that food was brought into the prisoners’ cells as it is each morning, and that the prisoners were eating as usual.