The conditions of security prisoners convicted of acts of terror and serving sentences in Israeli prisons will be worsened to the “bare minimum allowed under international law,” Homeland Security Minister Gilad Erdan announced on Wednesday, adding that he will be implementing the new steps immediately.
“We will not be thwarted by threats or hunger strikes. Worsening the conditions of the terrorists is necessary in order to create deterrence,” said Erdan, adding that the moves also stems from a “moral obligation to victims of terror and their families.”
According to Erdan, Israel’s legal system has never made the proper legal differentiation between regular prisoners serving time for criminal acts, and security prisoners jailed for acts of terror.
“When we are talking about security prisoners, one of the main objectives of incarceration – rehabilitation, does not apply, as we are talking about inmates driven by a terrorist ideology, who don’t regret their actions even slightly,” said Erdan, adding that he instructed the Prison Service to redefine the conditions of incarceration in a way which would also include a deterrence to terror organizations.
One of the steps Erdan decided on is to end the separation between prisoners according to which terror organizations they are affiliated with, as was accustomed until now. Should the changes take effect, prisoners affiliated with Fatah and prisoners affiliated with Hamas would no longer be held in separate wings, effectively ending the policy of collective treatment previously implemented by the Prison Service. Furthermore, Erdan also ordered that the amount of money family members as well as the Palestinian Authority can transfer to inmates is reduced drastically. Finally, Erdan moved move the showers out of the living quarters of the inmates, in order to prevent their common practice of leaving faucets running in order to waste Israeli water.
“A complete plan has been revised and this is a historical opportunity to drastically change the conditions of terrorists in the prisons,” said Erdan, adding that “this is how we will create deterrence. We have a moral and defense based obligation to change the current situation. The decisions I have made will assist the state of Israel in its war on terror.”
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