newsIsrael at War

Israel’s AG asks why imprisoned terrorists do not get fruit

Gali Baharav-Miara's representatives met with officials from the National Security Ministry and the Prison Service to clarify the inmates' conditions.

Israel Prison Service personnel stand guard over Hamas terrorists caught during the Oct. 7 massacre and IDF operations in the Gaza Strip, at a prison in southern Israel, Feb. 14, 2024. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.
Israel Prison Service personnel stand guard over Hamas terrorists caught during the Oct. 7 massacre and IDF operations in the Gaza Strip, at a prison in southern Israel, Feb. 14, 2024. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.

Deputy Attorney General Attorney Sharon Afek and head of the High Court of Justice Department Attorney Aner Helman demanded clarifications regarding the food provided to imprisoned terrorists, including Nukhba terrorists who participated in the Oct. 7 massacre.

According to a document obtained by Israel Hayom, which summarizes a preliminary discussion on toughening the conditions for terrorists in prison, the representatives of the Attorney General’s Office asked the Israel Prison Service and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s Office to explain why fruits were removed from the menu served to terrorist prisoners, contrary to the recommendations of professionals and dietitians.

The representatives also wondered how removing fruits from the menu, a decision made by Ben-Gvir, does not harm the prisoners’ health and even fails to maintain their long-term health as required by the Prisons Ordinance.

They also asked why sausages are served to the terrorists twice a week—and not less frequently, since they are considered processed, and therefore less healthy, food. Professionals have recommended reducing the amount of processed meat given to imprisoned terrorists to maintain their health.

The Attorney General’s Office also asked why security prisoners do not have “food stations” similar to those in criminal wards, to supplement the nutritional requirements for prisoners who “do not receive the amount of food they need during meals.”

The representatives also stated that data presented in the preliminary discussion shows that “many prisoners receive a food supply below the required minimum for them.”

The questions posed by Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara’s representatives were asked within the framework of a discussion to formulate a response to a petition filed by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. The petitioners raised these issues of the lack of fruits and the excessive provision of processed meat, so Baharav-Miara’s representatives claimed they wanted to verify the facts in the prisons.

The discussion took place on Monday evening following a petition filed by the Association for Civil Rights against the state. Participants included Afek, Helman and representatives of the Prison Service and the National Security Ministry. The petition alleged that since Oct. 7, the food conditions for security prisoners have been toughened. It also claimed that a situation was created where prisoners were starved, and examples were provided.

The Justice Ministry’s Legal Counsel and Legislative Affairs Department said in a statement, “Recently, a petition was filed with the High Court of Justice regarding the food provided to all security prisoners held in prisons in Israel. In order to examine the claims and formulate a response to the petition, a multi-participant discussion was held, aimed at understanding the factual picture and the position of the professionals. All the questions raised during the discussion were derived from the petition and additional inquiries on the subject, and their purpose was, as stated, to clarify the facts thoroughly.

“During the discussion, no legal or other positions were presented by representatives of the state attorney and the Attorney General’s Office. It was even clarified that only after understanding the factual picture could a response be formulated. At the end of the discussion, it was decided that a follow-up discussion would be held.

“Needless to say, the state is obligated to examine any claim of violation of the law raised before it and to respond in a substantiated and thorough manner to petitions to the High Court of Justice,” the Legal Counsel and Legislative Affairs Department said.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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