Erdan: Remain Firm on Making Life Harder, Not Easier, for Hamas Prisoners

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told Yediot Acharonot Monday that he was remaining firm on his decision not to allow Hamas terrorists to view a major upcoming sporting event. “My order is designed to worsen the conditions of terrorists, to provide them with no more than the minimum needed. We have no intention of allowing Hamas terrorists to enjoy themselves as long as the terror group is holding the remains of IDF soldiers, as well as live Israeli kidnappees.”

The decision to ban terrorists from being permitted to view the upcoming events was made at a meeting of Erdan and top staff Sunday, after revelations by Channel 20 that the terrorists would be allowed to view them. In 1997, the Prisons Service issued a blanket permit for all prisoners to view the games, and in order to prevent Hamas members from having that benefit, Erdan asked staff to find legal precedents to ban them from viewing.

According to Channel 20, the Palestinian Authority plans to take the issue to the High Court, demanding that the Prisons Service allow all prisoners, including Hamas terrorists, to view the event. “We are working on a legal basis to prevent this, and are attempting to anticipate ways the terror groups will try to overturn this decision,” Erdan told the newspaper.

In a statement,the Palestinian Prisoners Association called the decision “foolish” and “petty,” one that would “not lead to any changes” in the attitude of terrorists. “These people are already in prison for 20 years. Do we need a new punishment every day? Erdan claims that the reason for this is because of the Israeli prisoners in Gaza, but a minister is supposed to find solutions, not take revenge. This is one of those things that is very important to prisoners but a matter of nonsense to government officials. Letting them view the games will not hurt anyone, but it will do a lot of good,” the statement said.

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