prisonFlash 90

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan held a non-scheduled meeting Sunday afternoon ahead of the start of a hunger strike by security prisoners, expected to begin tonight.

According to intelligence sources at the Israel Prison Service, senior Fatah official Marwan Barghouti, imprisoned since 2004 for his involvement in numerous deadly terrorist attacks, is seeking to strengthen his position against PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas through the publicity to be gemerated by the hunger strike.

Erdan's office noted that the Public Security Minister recently examined the prison service's level of preparedness for the hunger strike and ordered the establishment of a field hospital outside the Ketziot Prison to provide a response to the hunger strikers, thus preventing the evacuation of prisoners to civilian hospitals.

Erdan instructed the prison service to transfer its intervention units to be near the prisons, to carry out intensive searches in order to prevent any illegal communication between the prisoners in different prisons and with terrorists outside of prison.

"Barghouti, the leader of the hunger strikers, is politically motivated by [his campaign for] the Palestinian leadership, and therefore includes unreasonable demands on the conditions of the prisoners. I have instructed the Israel Prison Service to take all actions necessary to contain the strike within the walls of the prisons and the Israel Police to prepare for any possible assistance to the Israel Prison Service in any scenario which may develop," Erdan said.