Despite a decision last week by Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich to allow prison guards to take “a freer hand” in imposing punishments on Hamas terrorists, one privilege at least some of them have been afforded has been permission to watch the World Cup event on TV, according to Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Danon.
At a meeting of the Likud faction Monday, Danon asked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to put an end to the phenomenon immediately.
“Hamas terrorists kidnapped three Israeli teens, but the 'day camp' we hold for these terrorists in prison is still in session,” Danon said. Last week, Aharonovich said that he would “take stringent steps” against terrorists, but refused to specify what those steps were.
Reports on the Hebrew-language Walla! that the measures would include the removing of television sets from their cells, the cancellation of making purchases from the jail canteen, and no more free newspapers.
But apparently Aharonovich has allowed terrorists to keep their TVs – and watch the World Cup soccer matches, broadcast on Israel TV nightly, Danon said.
“Despite the Internal Security Minister's declarations, nothing has changed,” Danon told Netanyahu. “The terrorists are watching soccer, buying snacks in the canteen, speaking on the phone, and receiving visitors.”
Netanyahu said that some steps had been taken. “We have cut back visits to the absolute minimum based on the Geneva Conventions specifying prisoners' rights, we have cut back on the funds transferred to prisoners, and we have taken other steps.”
He said he would investigate what could be done to cut back on cell phone use by the terrorists.
Interior Minister Gideon Saar said that Israel must increase the pressure on Hamas terrorists, inside and outside of Israeli prisons, until the three kidnapped Israeli teens - Eyal Yifrah (19), Naftali Frenkel (16), and Gilad Sha'ar (16) – were returned home.
Released terrorists have revealed on Palestinian Authority (PA) official TV how they enjoyed a life of ease in Israeli prisons. They have also in the past been allowed to pursue a university degree by taking academic courses.