update deskIsrael News

Palestinian security prisoners freed by Shin Bet as ‘Ramadan gesture,’ Ben-Gvir charges

Security official responds: “This is not a gesture and the matter was even clarified in a Cabinet discussion."

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir at a ceremony marking the Jewish New Year at the National Headquarters of the Israel Police in Jerusalem, Sept. 13, 2023. Photo by Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90.
Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir at a ceremony marking the Jewish New Year at the National Headquarters of the Israel Police in Jerusalem, Sept. 13, 2023. Photo by Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90.

Forty Palestinian administrative detainees were released from jail on Thursday night at the directive of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) as a “gesture” ahead of Ramadan, according to Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who oversees the prison administration.

Video footage aired by Israel’s Kan News public broadcaster showed security detainees, who were freed from Ofer Prison near Ramallah, celebrating their release.

“The administrative detainees who were released from the prisons this evening were not released due to lack of space in the prisons—but because of a direct order of the head of the Shin Bet [Ronen Bar] as a ‘gesture’ in preparation for Ramadan,” tweeted Ben-Gvir.

He said that the Israel Prison Service, which falls under the authority of his ministry, was unable to prevent the move.

“It is alarming that on the day two Jews were murdered, the head of the Shin Bet decides to make gestures to the murderers, and this is a day after the Shin Bet requested the extension of the administrative detention of a Jewish settler for the second time,” the minister added.

On Thursday afternoon, a Palestinian terrorist murdered two Israelis at a gas station outside the town of Eli in the Binyamin region of Samaria.

Earlier this week, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant extended the administrative detention of right-wing activist Ariel Danino by three months, a day before the original order was due to expire.

A security official told Israel Hayom that “contrary to the disclosure of the national security minister, this is not a gesture and the matter was even clarified as part of tonight’s Cabinet discussion.”

He added that the Shin Bet and Israel Defense Forces have warned about the lack of space in prisons in recent months and that it was the National Security Ministry’s task to find a solution.

Since the start of the war on Oct. 7, around 3,250 Palestinian terror suspects have been captured in arrest raids throughout Judea and Samaria, including more than 1,350 who are associated with Hamas, the IDF announced Tuesday.

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