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Ben-Gvir calls prisoner food ration reduction ‘deterrent measure’

June 27, 2024 at 12:24 pm

Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir gives a statement during a party meeting at the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, in Jerusalem on 3 June 2024 [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images]

Israel’s far-right minister of national security has explained that he has ordered a reduction in food rations for Palestinian prisoners as a “deterrent” measure. Itamar Ben-Gvir made his comment in response to a request for clarification by the Israeli Supreme Court regarding the fact that the portion of food received by Palestinian prisoners is far less than what is stipulated by international law.

“The Palestinian detainees will receive the minimum rights and the minimum food, and I will ensure that this policy is implemented,” said the extremist minister. “This policy is to reduce the food ration for security prisoners to the minimum food and calorie ration required by law, and that security prisoners must receive a smaller ration than criminal prisoners.”

Ben-Gvir added that when the Israeli war against the Palestinians in Gaza broke out last October, it was decided to reduce activity in prisons. “In this context, we decided to stop [allowing] purchases from canteens and to change the method of purchasing and providing food to security prisoners.”

Such “deterrent” measures, he claimed, will avoid potential harm from Palestinians committing “terrorist acts” even when in prisons.

Haaretz newspaper said on Wednesday that Palestinian prisoners who are not members of Hamas lost weight as a result of the Israeli security service reducing their food portions to starvation level.

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