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Israel-Palestine war: Ben Gvir orders meat ban for Palestinians detained over 7 October attacks

Far-right national security minister accuses prison service head of acting 'like the UN' by not changing menus
Israel's far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir delivers a speech during a rally in the illegal outpost of Eviatar, near the Palestinian village of Beita in the occupied West Bank, on 10 April 2023 (AFP/Gil Cohen Magen)
Israel's National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir speaks at a rally in the illegal outpost of Eviatar in the occupied West Bank on 10 April 2023 (AFP/Gil Cohen Magen)

Israel's far-right national security minister Itamar Ben Gvir has instructed prison services not to provide meat to Palestinian prisoners detained over alleged involvement in the 7 October attacks, according to a report in Ynet. 

The detainees currently receive three meals a day, and receive one meat based meal four days a week, the report stated. That includes hot dogs, turkey breast or chicken schnitzel, it added. 

"Our hostages in Gaza are suffering from hunger. We heard testimonies of half a pita, and here the [7 October] prisoners receive hearty meals. From my perspective, they can receive the minimum that we are obligated to give them," Ben Gvir said.

A statement from the far-right minister's office claimed that the conduct of outgoing Israeli prison service commissioner Katy Perry "crossed every possible line". 

"Even before the war, the prison service commissioner ignored the minister's instructions to make the conditions more severe and end the security prisoners' summer camp," it said.

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"[She] is acting as if the state of Israel is not at war, as if she was from the United Nations, without morals or ethics. It is unthinkable that while our hostages are receiving a quarter of a pita a day, the commissioner ensures an all-inclusive menu for Hamas terrorists who murdered and slaughtered and kidnapped our brothers."

The prison service rejected the claims, stating that it had "reduce[d] the sustenance conditions of the security prisoners to the minimum required by law", including by changing food schedules.

"At the same time, at the start of the Swords of Iron war, the option to purchase products from the canteen was suspended, and all of the electric products were removed from use," it added. 

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The surprise attack on southern Israeli communities by Hamas and other Palestinian groups on 7 October killed around 1,200 people.

Around 240 hostages were taken to the besieged Gaza Strip, roughly half of whom were released during a temporary pause in fighting a month ago. 

Since 7 October, Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip has killed nearly 22,000 Palestinians, including at least 8,500 children.

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