Israel Dropped The Ball (And Snack) On Barghouti

It is being reported that yesterday Israel published a list of Marwan Barghouti’s demands.

Israel on Monday stepped up its bid to undermine Palestinian hunger strike leader Marwan Barghouti, publishing a list of his demands that it said include access to 20 television channels and air conditioning

Barghouti, serving five life terms for a series of terror attacks during the Second Intifada, laid out 19 requests in a letter sent to Prisons Service head Commissioner Ofrah Klinger.

The letter was dictated to another prisoner, who hand-wrote it in Hebrew, media reported.

Among the demands Barghouti made are 20 channels of television, unrestricted books and magazines, air conditioning, a greater selection of items available for purchase in the canteen, family visits, the restarting of open university studies, public telephone use, and annual medical checks for prisoners.

“The document shows how over the top the demands are, no country in the world would enter into negotiations with prisoners for such demands and certainly Israel, which is in a campaign against the terror organizations, will not agree to surrender to extortion and damage its deterrent against terrorists,” said Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan.

Ynet has published the full list:

  1. Installing a public pay phone for the prisoners’ use.
  2. Improved visitation rights.
  3. An annual medical examination for every prisoner, more frequent medical examinations for prisoners over 50, transporting sick prisoners in a special vehicle, dental implants, allowing private doctors to enter the prison without delay.
  4. Cancelling disciplinary action taken against the prisoners.
  5. Giving prisoners access to 20 TV channels.
  6. Giving Gaza prisoners the same visitation rights as other prisoners.
  7. Allowing books, weeklies and newspapers to be brought into the prison without limitations.
  8. Changing and increasing the products available at the prison’s store and increasing the amount of money a prisoner’s family can deposit for him to NIS 2,000.
  9. Improving the conditions during prisoner transfers.
  10. Transporting female prisoners in special, separate transports, improving their conditions.
  11. Installing air-conditioners in the prisons, particularly in Gilboa Prison.
  12. Resolve the issue of overcrowding in cells by housing no more than four prisoners per cell, in accordance with the Supreme Court’s ruling.
  13. Allowing prisoners to study at the Open University, as well as study for and take the high school matriculation exams.
  14. Improving and changing daily living conditions by having a dialogue with the prisoners.
  15. Compensating prisoners who don’t get a visit from their family with a phone call.
  16. Putting an end to the policy of placing prisoners in solitary confinement.
  17. Releasing prisoners who are chronically ill or have special needs.
  18. Allowing prisoners to prepare their own food and manage their own kitchen.
  19. Keeping the prison cells open in the summer until 10pm.

This is very similar to the list I found on a website and published last week.

Which has me asking: Why didn’t Israel publish the list earlier and emphasize how the demands were way beyond prisoner rights according to international law (which is what I did in my post)? How can it be that a simple blogger like me does it sooner?

It is getting increasingly frustrating that I am doing things I expect the Israeli government to do earlier – or even at all.

Israel really needs to get its act together. And fast.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media