A Palestinian terrorist convicted of kidnapping and killing an Israeli teenager has petitioned a judge after the Israel Prison Service (IPS) denied him the “right” to play video games, a spokesperson for the IPS confirmed on Wednesday.
Iham Kamamji, a Palestinian Islamic Jihad member serving two life sentences for his role in the 2006 murder of 18-year-old Eliyahu Asheri, said the prison administration had previously allowed him to have a Sony PlayStation 2 in his cell.
Kamamji was one of the six Palestinian terrorists who in September 2021 broke out of Israel’s maximum-security Gilboa Prison. Following their recapture, Kamamji was moved to the isolation wing of Ashkelon’s Shikma Prison.
In the petition, the terrorist complained about alleged “discrimination and harassment” at the hands of the Prison Service in the wake of his attempted escape. “I do not commit crimes and respect the law and the administration,” Kamamji claimed.
“The recreational rights of prisoners in segregation are examined and given on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with the prisoner’s behavior,” the IPS stated in response.
“After the request was denied, the prisoner filed a petition, which has not yet been scheduled for a hearing. We will bring our full arguments to the court as is customary,” added the spokesperson.
Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir reportedly demanded stricter measures against Palestinian security prisoners during Tuesday’s Security Cabinet meeting, which was held amid a wave of deadly attacks on Israelis.
Among other proposals, Ben-Gvir was said to have asked that the organizational affiliation of prison wings be canceled, meaning that inmates from specific terrorist groups would no longer be incarcerated together.
Last week, some 1,000 Hamas terrorists held in Israeli jails threatened a mass hunger strike. The announcement cited several “provocations” such as the transfer of inmates, restrictions on living conditions, as well as an Aug. 16 visit by Ben-Gvir to Ofer Prison outside Ramallah.
Palestinian sources in the Gaza Strip cited by Haaretz claimed that Hamas’s subsequent firing of 50 rockets toward the Mediterranean Sea was also related to the situation in Israel’s penitentiary facilities.
Since entering office in December 2022, Ben-Gvir has repeatedly urged the IPS to crack down on security prisoners, a term generally referring to Palestinians held for nationalistically motivated attacks or membership in terrorist groups.
The minister ordered showering time reduced to four minutes per terrorist prisoner with a total of one hour of running water time for each prison wing where terrorists are held. In early February, Ben-Gvir also ordered the closure of jail bakeries where prisoners made themselves fresh pita bread.