'When I saw the video I realized that we've got him'

Minister talks with Arutz Sheva about recent video revealing arch-terrorist breaking his hunger strike, Trump's visit to Israel.

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Arutz Sheva Staff,

Gilad Erdan
Gilad Erdan
Photo by Marc Israel Sellem/POOL

On Sunday, the Israel Prison Service released closed-circuit TV footage from the cell of arch-terrorist and mass-murderer Marwan Barghouti eating in the corner of his room while ostensibly maintaining a hunger strike.

Barghouti, a senior Fatah-Tanzim terrorist serving five consecutive life sentences for the murder of four Israeli Jews and one Greek tourist during the Second Intifada, had called for the hunger strike in an opinion piece published by The New York Times during the Passover holiday in April.

Several days before the video's release, Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) viewed the footage, but initially decided not to publicize it, believing that supporters of the terrorist and the mass terrorist hunger strike he had proclaimed would simply deny the evidence.

But when Barghouti was filmed a second time eating in the corner of his cell, Erdan decided enough evidence had been gathered to warrant publication.

“I wanted to wait until there was something clear and decisive,” Erdan told Arutz Sheva, “so that people could see him eating in secret. Then, when I was shown the second recording taken last Thursday, I said to myself ‘We’ve got it!’, because it’s so obvious there’s no room for argument. His lie has been exposed.”

Barghouti was filmed eating in his cell during a hunger strike in 2004, leading an Arutz Sheva op-ed writer to pen a sarcastic article in April warning the terrorist murderer not to cheat again this time.

Turning to President Trump’s coming visit to Israel later this month, Erdan said he was hopeful the timing of the president’s trip was no coincidence, suggesting that the decision to visit Jerusalem on the eve of Jerusalem Day, marking 50 years since the liberation of half of the city from Jordanian occupation could signal his intention to relocate the US Embassy to Israel’s capital.

“I really hope so,” said Erdan, “especially on the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem. I can’t tell what he’ll do, but just the visit itself – unlike Obama, who made his first trip to Cairo but not to us – this is a very important signal here that I applaud him for.”