Families: Stop Pampering Terrorists With Special Privileges

YERUSHALAYIM -
Hamas terrorists at an anti-Israel rally in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah in February. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Hamas terrorists at an anti-Israel rally in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafiach in February. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

After the High Court on Tuesday turned down three petitions against the Israel-Turkey reconciliation deal, families of the soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, Hy”d, on Wednesday demanded that special privileges to Hamas terrorists in Israeli prisons be halted – beginning Wednesday night, with the families calling on the Prisons Service not to allow terrorists to watch broadcasts of a major European championship tournament.

In a letter to the Prisons Service, the families said that the viewing privileges accorded terrorists – as well as other benefits, such as a NIS 200 gift each one gets for canteen privileges, special diet requests (terrorist prisoners can request that the kitchen make their eggs to order, soft boiled or hard boiled), and other benefits be halted immediately.

“It is unacceptable that terrorists would benefit from such generous conditions while Hamas refuses to return our sons. Hamas refuses to even grant the humanitarian visits and information they are required to under international law. Just last week, the cabinet established a panel that is supposed to examine ways to prompt Hamas to return our sons. The way the Prisons Service treats these terrorists is completely the opposite of such prompting.”

The court on Tuesday turned down three petitions against the reconciliation deal, which claimed that the deal should be rejected because it did not include provisions for the return of three missing Israelis – Goldin, Shaul, and IDF soldier Avraham Mengistu. The former two went missing during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, when witnesses saw their bodies dragged through the opening of a Hamas terror tunnel. The two were definitely killed in battle, the IDF said, but last month their status was redefined and they were declared as also being “missing in action” and in captivity. The latter was last seen alive in September 2014, when he was captured by Hamas at the end of Operation Protective Edge. Hamas originally claimed that Mengistu had entered Gaza willingly and that he had been released to live as a civilian there, but later confirmed that it was holding him and a second individual.

Petitions against the deal were presented to the court in recent days by the families, as well as rightwing activists Michael Ben Ari, Baruch Marzel, Itamar Ben Gvir and Bentzi Gopstein, and the Israel Law Center, headed by attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner. The court considered all three petitions as a single one, and said that it did not feel comfortable interfering in the matter. “There are matters that are strictly for the state to deal with,” the court said. “There is no doubt that the claims in these petitions are worthy and interesting, but the court will not pursue them. That is the job of the government.”