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Warnings sound as Israel’s Ben-Gvir toughens up on Palestinian prisoners

Newly appointed National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir is following through on his electoral agenda of ending the privileges of Palestinian security prisoners, and alarm bells are already ringing.

The Israel Prison Service (IPS) transferred 70 Palestinian security prisoners on Monday, among them prominent militant Marwan Barghouti, from the high-security Hadarim jail in the center of Israel to the high-security Nafha in the south of the country.

In the coming weeks, the IPS plans to redistribute some 2,000 prisoners among several facilities. The plan was apparently conceived under the former government, but the appointment of hard-liner Itamar Ben-Gvir as national security minister gave it a final push. Ben-Gvir and his Jewish Power party had campaigned on ending the “summer camp” conditions enjoyed by security prisoners.

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