Israel’s public security minister gets tough with terrorist prisoners

“This celebration is coming to an end,” Minister Erdan said, vowing to end what he sees as luxurious conditions and partying enjoyed by security prisoners.

By David Jablinowitz, World Israel News

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan says the number of jail cells holding security prisoners will be consolidated.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, he was reacting to the conclusions of a public committee to reduce the number of cells in jail wings where security prisoners are held.

Erdan had announced the establishment of the committee in June, stating that the objective was to recommend ways to impose stricter incarceration conditions on security prisoners, leaving them with the minimum required by law.

The minister indicated that he will be adopting moves to restrict the ability of security prisoners to establish social settings, live with any sign of luxury or, most important, maintain terror ties.

“I have decided that the Prisons Service will stop holding the prisoners in the wings according to [terror] organizational affiliation,” said Erdan.

No more cooking, the minister added. “Every so often, infuriating pictures appear of cooking in the terrorist wings. This celebration is coming to an end,” he told the news conference, adding: “The way I see it, the Prisons Service should be the ones providing the food to the prisoners and in a manner which suits the minimal dietary requirements under law.”

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Erdan said that in the current situation, “despicable” security prisoners have access, to a certain degree, to better food than the criminals in Israeli jails “who we want to believe we can rehabilitate and return to Israeli society, as opposed to the terrorists.”

Erdan also accused security prisoners of purposely using excessively large amounts of water, “five times the amount of the average Israeli citizen,” in order to cause harm to the country amid the water shortage.

He vowed that water usage would be restricted, the hours of usage would be limited and, ultimately, the showers would be moved out of the prison wings in order to better supervise and limit water usage.