A report Sunday said that Prisons Service negotiators were in contact with the leaders of a planned hunger strike by terrorist prisoners. A report on Channel 13 said the negotiators were discussing a number of proposals under which prisoners would receive benefits, in exchange for canceling the hunger strike.
A report earlier in Gaza media said that hundreds of terrorist prisoners had already skipped breakfast. Some 1,400 terrorist prisoners planned to stop eating food Sunday, although they will continue drinking liquids, but if their demands are not met, they will stop drinking liquids as well. According to Channel 12 news, dozens of terrorists have made wills to be given to their families in case they die of starvation. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that security forces in the prisons would be increased, and doctors and paramedics would be deployed to assist any terrorist who took ill on site, instead of taking them to hospitals.
At issue are demands by the terrorists to ease conditions in their situation – with an emphasis on ending a new practice by the Prisons Service that blocks cellphone signals in prison cells. It should be noted that it is illegal for terrorists to have such phones in the first place. Erdan said on Motzoei Shabbos that while the blockage has been proposed, it has not yet been imposed, although representatives of the terrorists say that it is in effect.
Leading the hunger strike are some of Israel’s most notorious terrorists, including Arman Mahamad, who is serving 35 life sentences for his involvement in the terror attack at Yerushalayim’s Cafe Moment in March 2002, in which 11 Israelis were killed and 54 wounded; Hassan Salamah, who is serving 84 life sentences for murdering 45 Israelis in twin bombing attacks on the Number 18 bus in Yerushalayim in February 1997; and Mamar Abu-Sheikh, serving 29 life sentences for involvement in the bombing of the Park Hotel in Netanya on Seder night in 2002, in which 30 Israelis were murdered.
Commenting on the negotiations, United Right List candidate Itamar Ben-Gvir said Sunday that instead of trying to stop the hunger strike, Israel should allow the terrorists to starve themselves to death. “This is an opportunity to repair the damage done when these terrorists were sentenced to ‘summer camp’ in what are essentially Israeli hotels. Let them hunger-strike as much as they want, and under no circumstances should we force-feed them. Let them die if that is what they want. When I reach the Knesset I will propose a law that will make the punishment procedure much simpler; terrorists who murder Jews will be sentenced to the electric chair, so they will no longer have the opportunity to threaten anyone.”