Hamas threatens ‘militant response’ as Ben-Gvir reduces benefits for jailed terrorists

Ben-Gvir’s potential reforms to “summer camp” prison conditions for convicted terrorists sparks outraged response from Hamas.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Public Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s moves to toughen conditions for prisoners incarcerated on terror charges has triggered a response from Hamas, who warned of a violent response should the lawmaker’s new policies be implemented.

“The Zionist government will bear responsibility for Ben-Gvir’s threats towards the Palestinian prisoners,” Hamas spokesman Abdel Rahman Shadid told the terror group’s Al-Aqsa TV channel.

“Ben-Gvir will definitely fail to implement his decisions against the prisoners inside the occupation prisons,” Shadid continued, adding that incarcerated terrorists would launch a wide-scale rebellion should the reforms be rolled out.

Palestinian terrorists will “confront” the prison administration if Ben-Gvir’s reforms come to fruition, Shadid said.

“The Zionist government will bear responsibility for Ben-Gvir’s threats towards the Palestinian prisoner,” he said, adding that Israel should expect a “militant response.”

Ben-Gvir has long complained that incarcerated terrorists receive too many privileges in Israeli prisons, referring to “summer camp” conditions which he states are unreasonable.

“Security prisons should be sealed off completely” with “no yard, no feasts and festivals,” Ben-Gvir told Hebrew language media during a press conference in November 2022.

He added that convicted terrorists should receive “only the minimum [conditions] dictated by law.”

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The lawmaker recently visited Nafha Prison to check that conditions for prisoners convicted of security offenses hadn’t been improved, following renovations at the correctional institution.

He has floated the idea of canceling educational programs, which allow terrorists to study for university degrees, no longer permitting them to cook for themselves, scaling back family visits, and severely restricting visits from MKs to security prisoners.

Ben-Gvir has also expressed his intention to end the practice of housing prisoners according to their terror group affiliation and allowing each wing to have a representative who serves as a liaison between prisoners and the prison administration.