Palestinian factions and organisations specialising in prisoner affairs have condemned the decision by Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to reduce visits by the families of West Bank prisoners on Friday.
Earlier on Friday, Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Ben-Gvir giving orders to reduce visits by the families of Palestinian prisoners from the West Bank from once a month to once every two months, starting Sunday.
Hamas considered Ben-Gvir’s decision: “A new crime and a practical translation of the sadism of the occupation and this extremist minister.”
The movement expressed in a statement: “This fascist behaviour against our prisoners will only bring Ben-Gvir and the occupation government further escalation and resistance. The prisoner issues will remain a top priority for our resistance until they are liberated.”
In turn, leader of the Islamic Jihad movement Yasser Mezher issued a statement calling on international institutions: “To take a firm stance towards this escalatory step against the rights of prisoners guaranteed by international laws and norms.”
In this context, the Palestinian Freedom Movement conveyed in a statement that Ben-Gvir’s decision: “Reflects the extent of the criminality that the extremist government exercises against our people and our prisoners.”
The Mohjat Al-Quds Foundation for the Martyrs said that targeting prisoners’ visits is: “A humanitarian crime and an escalation of the war against them.”
Furthermore, the Wa’ed Association for Prisoners and Liberated Prisoners issued a statement describing Ben-Gvir’s decision as: “Extremely racist and reflects the extent of his insistence on igniting the scene inside the prisons.”
The Israeli decision includes around 1,600 out of about 5,000 prisoners.
Ben-Gvir has taken measures against Palestinians since he assumed the position of minister of national security in Benjamin Netanyahu’s government at the end of last year through various security measures, a large part of which included prisoners.