Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Israel's Kindness Hurts Shalit
Maayana Miskin Israel's Kindness Hurts Shalit
Chaim Glick, the General Manager of Bar Ilan University and a former senior Prison Services official, warned Monday that Israel's treatment of terrorist prisoners is making it more difficult to release kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Shalit has been held captive by Hamas-allied terrorists in Gaza for more than 880 days. Speaking at a gathering held at the university on behalf of Shalit, Glick said, “The main reason we have not succeeded in bringing back Shalit is the good conditions granted to prisoners in Israel convicted of security-related offenses.” Murderers and terrorists in Israeli prisons often have little reason to seek release, he said.
Glick explained the benefits granted to terrorists, and said they go beyond what Israel is required to provide under international law. Terrorists are given newspapers and access to cable television, are allowed to see their families and hold their children, are given meat and fish and special holiday meals, and are allowed to study for a university degree with Open University. They are given a stipend by Hamas and other terrorist groups, and are allowed to use the money to buy candy and other goods in the prison canteen.
Glick called on Israel to stop providing prisoners with anything more than basic living conditions. Stopping the “policy of pampering and luxury for security prisoners” would put pressure on Hamas to release Shalit in exchange for terrorist prisoners, he said.
Israel has held talks with Hamas via Egyptian intermediaries, but the terrorist group has refused to compromise on its demands and has even asked for more. The group demands the release of all female and minor terrorists held in Israeli jails in addition to more than 1,000 terrorists, some of them the masterminds of fatal attacks. Hamas insists that Shalit is being treated well, but has not allowed international aid workers to see him or speak to him and has not released photos or video clips that would prove their claim.