Controversy Surrounds Release of Palestinian Detainees Amid Security Concerns

By Yoni Weiss

Ofer prison. (Flash90)

Dozens of Palestinian administrative detainees were released Thursday evening from the Ofer Prison prison due to what the IDF and Shin Bet explained was a need to free up space “for detainees of a higher threat level.”

The development garnered harsh criticism from National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who suggested it stemmed not from a need to free up space in the prison, but follower a direct command by Shin Bet head Ronen Bar as a “gesture” ahead of Ramadan.

“The prison service has no discretion in the matter. It is alarming that on the same day two Jews are murdered, the head of the Shin Bet chooses to release the murderers,” he said.

Security official said in response, “Contrary to the publications of the national security minister, this is not a gesture and the matter was even clarified as part of the Cabinet discussion tonight.”

They added that the Shin Bet and IDF have for some time warned about the lack of space in prisons and that it was the National Security Ministry’s task to find a solution.

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