Barghouti Put in Solitary After Cell Phone Interview


Israeli prison authorities have put a stop to Hamas arch-terrorist Abdullah al-Barghouti’s phone interviews, clamping him into solitary confinement after he spoke with a Gaza radio station and urged Hamas to show Israel no mercy.

Barghouti gave the interview over a mobile telephone “smuggled into the prison where he is being held,” according to spokeswoman Sivan Weizman of the Israel Prison Service. She added that he “has been placed in an isolation cell … and the issue of the smuggling will be investigated.”

Barghouti is serving multiple life sentences for his terrorist acts as chief Hamas bomb maker. He was convicted for his role in several terrorist attacks, including the infamous 2001 bombing of the Sbaro restaurant in Yerushalayim, which killed 15 and injured 130.

During the interview with the Hamas-affiliated al-Rai radio station, Barghouti called on Hamas and its military wing, al-Qassam Brigades, to take their time as they negotiate a prisoner swap deal with Israel, but added that Hamas’s military wing should show no mercy to “the Israeli enemy.”

The incident highlights a current legislative initiative to ban the use and possession of cellular phones by terrorist prisoners. The Knesset Ministerial Law Committee approved on Sunday a proposal by Justice Minister Ayalet Shaked to enact such a ban.

Prison wardens are authoritzed to ban the phones, but ambiguities in the law as it now stands have made it possible for prisoners to successfully petition the High Court for cell phone privileges for “humanitarian reasons.”

“Dampening” equipment operated by the Prisons Service to prevent incoming or outgoing calls is only partially effective, as the Barghouti case illustrates.

Such restrictions on communication with the outside world is not merely punitive. The Shin Bet has backed the cell phone ban to prevent jailed terrorists from inciting and directing attacks against Israelis, according to Ynet.

“The use of cellular phones [smuggled into prison] presents one of the key methods of promoting such terror activities, and allows for the connection between the experience and knowledge of the inmates and the operatives on the ground which are trying to promote ‘military’ acts,” the legislation explains.

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