Netanyahu: party over for jailed terrorists until Gilad Shalit freed
Binyamin Netanyahu has warned that Israel will make conditions for jailed terrorists less relaxed in the face of Hamas' rejection of an appeal to prove Gilad Shalit is still alive.
The Israeli Prime Minister made the comments at the closing session of the third annual Presidential Conference in Jerusalem; just hours after Hamas vowed that it would not accord with the Red Cross' demand that they provide information about the captured soldier.
Mr Netanyahu said he had decided to change Israel's treatment of terrorists sitting in prison. He said: "We will give them all that they deserve according to international law but nothing beyond that.
"We will stop, among other things, the absurd practice in which terrorists who murdered innocent people enroll in academic studies," he added. "There will be no more 'doctors of terror'. The party is over."
His announcement came as the Shalit family marked almost five year's since the 19-year-old was kidnapped by terrorists.
Abraham Foxman, the director of hate monitor the Anti-Defamation League, said Mr Netanyahu's new approach was necessary "in the absence of even the most minimal decency by Hamas regarding Shalit".
Mr Foxman added: "It is unfortunate that Hamas' intransigence in the matter of Gilad Shalit, reflected in its continued and most recent refusal of International Red Cross requests for evidence that he is still alive, has left Israel little choice but to impose limits on the privileges of Palestinian security prisoners.
"The Prime Minister has made clear that basic prisoner rights must be and will be maintained. However, areas beyond that will be examined and curtailed.