Erdan has pledged to abide by international law but says that security prisoners deserve nothing better than what is required.
The Israel Prison Service (IPS) is bracing for the latest violent protest by Palestinian terrorists held as security prisoners in Israeli jails.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan has made it a priority to crack down on the conditions enjoyed by the prisoners.
“This celebration is coming to an end,” Erdan said in January, vowing to end what he sees as luxurious conditions and partying enjoyed by security inmates.
It had started with such measures as preventing prisoners from watching soccer matches and has grown into greater surveillance and moves to cut off connections to the outside world.
The protests by the prisoners have also stepped up from purposely wasting water to violence.
The Hamas terror organization is fuming over inspections recently by wardens at the Ketziot prison that have uncovered the smuggling of illegal cell phones, enabling inmates to continue directing terror attacks long-distance. The IPS also installed, on a trial basis, a system that screens calls in both Ketziot and Rimon prisons, which would prevent prisoners from using unauthorized phones.
Hamas declarations have claimed that the new regulations constitute “the harshest attack on us in years. They’ve declared war on us; we won’t leave Ketziot [prisoners] isolated in the campaign. The fire will spread to all prisons,” Hamas has vowed.
Calling on their followers to support the inmates, they stated, “If we are to die – let us die as heroes.”
The IPS is preparing for attempts to destroy prison property and possible assaults on its staff, similar to the riots that took place recently at Ofer prison. During and after a search for contraband items, security prisoners set fire to mattresses and attacked guards, six of whom required hospital care.
A new protest by prisoners has been scheduled for Sunday, and Israeli authorities are on high alert.
Exacerbating the tensions are reports that Hamas and Israel, through Egyptian mediation, are working on a prisoner swap. Israel has dismissed the reports, saying that the talks are aimed only at reaching a cessation of Gaza-Israel violence.
The public security minister is adamant that the stricter measures in the jails must continue. Erdan has pledged to abide by international law but says that security prisoners deserve nothing better than what is required.