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Palestinian prisoners make list of demands to improve prison conditions: “Restore ‎satellite TV channels”‎

The PA daily printed a list of demands made by Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike. In ‎contrast to PA allegations that Israel abuses and poisons prisoners, the list makes no mention of ‎any such abuse against prisoners. The demands are all related to normal prison routine, including ‎prison luxuries such as demanding “satellite TV channels”:‎
Headline: "List of demands of the prisoners on hunger strike"
‎"Yesterday the Prisoners' Club published the demands of the prisoners who are holding a hunger ‎strike in the Israeli prisons. Among the demands: ‎
‎- To end the policy of solitary confinement, in which about 20 prisoners are being held.
‎- To end the policy of strip searches.
‎- To allow prisoners from Gaza visits by family members, because they have been forbidden to ‎visit since 2007.
‎- To allow all family members to visit the prisoner.
‎- To allow children [of the prisoners] to continue regular visits after they reach the age of 16.
‎- To allow a prisoner to visit his prisoner wife.
‎- To allow Arab prisoners to make telephone calls to their families and to send their families video ‎clips.
‎- To restore satellite TV channels.
‎- To improve the visiting conditions for families: to remove the glass partition, to permit children ‎to enter during the visit, to end the policy of humiliating and degrading searches of family ‎members.
‎- To free psychiatric prisoners and those suffering from incurable illnesses.
‎- To provide treatment for prisoners who are ill, including surgery, provision of auxiliary ‎equipment, and quick diagnosis of illnesses, and to allow the approved list of doctors to enter the ‎prison easily.
‎- To end the policy of collective punishment and the imposition of fines on prisoners.
‎- To re-allow studies, including matriculation examinations, university registration, and to bring in ‎books.
‎- To end the policy of handcuffing the prisoner's hands and legs during a meeting with family or ‎his lawyer.
‎- To stop carrying out daily searches in the cells and destroying them.
‎- To improve conditions in the vehicles for transporting prisoners, especially those transporting ‎‎[prisoners who are] ill.
‎- To release the prisoners in administrative detention.
‎- To allow children to embrace their mothers and fathers.
‎- To remove the glass [partition] with the net behind it during a visit.
‎- To improve the food, in terms of both quantity and quality.
‎- To put prisoners [from the same family], together in the same prison, to make it easier for the ‎family during a visit.
‎- To allow prisoners who are related to each other, such as a husband and wife, to be in prisons ‎close by each other, to make visiting easier.
‎- To end the humiliating searches of family members and to allow them to take water for drinking ‎on the bus for visitors." ‎
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Only a few months before this list was published, the Israeli Prime Minister announced his intention to end academic studies for prisoners and implement harsher prison conditions:

Headline: ‎"Five years after Gilad Shalit was taken captive, the [Israeli] Prime Minister has announced ‎the cancellation of the 'extravagant conditions' enjoyed by murderers in prison: 'There will ‎be no more Masters candidates in murder, no more doctoral candidates in terror'"‎
‎"This evening Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a move aimed at ‎pressuring Hamas to release the soldier Gilad Shalit…: 'I have decided to change Israel's ‎policy towards the terrorists sitting in Israeli prisons,' said Netanyahu, against the ‎background of the refusal by the [Hamas] organization ruling Gaza to comply today with ‎the Red Cross request to visit Gilad…‎
‎'We are committed to honoring Israeli law, international law, international conventions, but ‎we are not committed beyond that,' noted the Prime Minister at the beginning of his ‎address at the closing session of the President's Conference in Jerusalem. 'Therefore the ‎extravagant and exaggerated conditions, the excessive conditions, of terrorists within the ‎Israeli prisons, will be stopped… We are adopting a series of steps to change the ‎conditions in prison. I shall not detail them [here]. I want to give one example: I have put an ‎end to the absurd procedure whereby terrorists who have murdered innocent people, ‎register for academic studies. There will be no more Masters candidates in murder; no ‎more doctoral candidates in terror. The party is over.'‎
At the end of the Olmert government's term, in March 2009, a committee was established, ‎headed by then-Minister of Justice, Prof. Daniel Friedman, which recommended that the ‎conditions for Hamas prisoners be tightened…‎
According to the Friedman committee recommendations – of which it is not yet clear which ‎will now be implemented:‎
• Visits by family members may be limited and physical contact may be prevented
• Television, radio and newspapers may be withheld
• The law may be changed so as to allow the prevention of administrative releases ‎and lawyers' visits. ‎
‎[http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4086462,00.html, June 23, 2011]


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