Palestinian prisoners are to be denied pitta bread by Israel’s far-right Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, who described it as a “benefit and indulgence”. The 46-year-old minister, who was once convicted of supporting Jewish terrorist group Kach, has ordered the closure of bakeries that produce pitta bread in the Rimon and Katzeot high security prisons.
“The policy is to deny benefits and indulgences to terrorists imprisoned in Israel, to deny them ‘benefits’ that can be withheld by law and certainly to deny them rights that for some reason only terrorists and not criminal prisoners have,” Ben-Gvir is reported to have said. The decision was announced by the extremist himself on Twitter.
newsHe also called for the death penalty for Palestinians who Israel considers to be “terrorists”. Until the death penalty is enacted, he added, such prisoners should be “treated as terrorists”.
Israel’s definition of terrorism includes any legitimate resistance to its military occupation and even the work of Palestinian human rights groups. Last year, the apartheid state proscribed six Palestinian human rights groups as “terrorist” entities. At the UN, Israel repeatedly denounces Palestinian attempts to seek legal recourse as “diplomatic terrorism”.
Ben-Gvir’s next move is said to be a report that will be issued by the far-right politician for discussion by the Israel cabinet. It is said to contain at least 20 recommendations on how to make the living conditions of Palestinian prisoners worse. Last month, he paid his first visit to Nafha Prison for Palestinian prisoners to make sure that conditions had not improved in the wake of a High Court ruling deemed to be in prisoners’ favour.