Israel to restrict prisoner rights to pressure Hamas

Sunday, March 29, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Israel's cabinet on Sunday approved a proposal to impose sanctions on Palestinian terrorists jailed in Israel in order to pressure Hamas to release abducted soldier Gilad Shalit, or to at least improve his treatment.

Israel currently grants Palestinian prisoners, even the most hardened and blood-soaked terrorists, a wide range of rights and freedoms - including government-subsidized higher eduction, and extensive television, radio and family visit rights.

Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann told the cabinet that while Israel will remain true to its democratic and moral roots, it will no longer be a "sucker" while its enemies mistreat captured Israelis.

As part of the proposal, Palestinian prisoners linked to Hamas will no longer be allowed to study for Israeli university degrees or watch television, and family visits will be reduced to the legal minimum.

Friedmann said that Israel would not go so far as Hamas has with Shalit by preventing the International Red Cross from visiting Palestinian prisoners.

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