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Committee bans visits to Palestinian prisoners in Israel jails

Palestinians gather in front of the UNESCO office during a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israel jails in Gaza City, Gaza on 9 May 2017 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinians gather in front of the UNESCO office during a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israel jails in Gaza City, Gaza on 9 May 2017 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

Israel’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation this weekend approved a bill that would prevent family and Red Cross visits to Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli jails.

The bill was sponsored by extremist MK Oron Hazan from the ruling-Likud party, who said that it helps fight “terror”. Last year, Hazan boarded a bus transporting families of Palestinian prisoners and insulted them, vowing to put an end to the visits.

Israeli ministers who support the bill have claimed the move is retaliation for Hamas’ prevention of visits to Israeli soldiers captured in the besieged Gaza Strip, Haaretz said on Monday. Haaretz added that such a bill had previously been introduced by Israel’s Minister of Internal Security, Gilad Erdan.

READ: Palestinian prisoner begins hunger strike against administrative detention

Reporting on the revelations, Quds Press also revealed that Erdan had ordered the formation of a special committee to study the circumstances of Palestinian security prisoners, in order to tighten restrictions on them. The committee also intends to give Palestinian prisoners the least-possible services allowed under Israel’s basic law.

If it becomes law, the bill would be enforced on all security prisoners held inside Israeli jails if the organisations with which they are affiliated capture Israeli soldiers.

In May, Erdan asked the commissioner of the Israeli Prison Services to prevent Palestinian prisoners affiliated with Hamas from watching World Cup matches.

READ: Israel punishes Palestinian prisoner for publishing a novel

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