The hundreds of Palestinian convicts held in Israeli jails who launched a hunger strike three weeks ago should expect no sympathy from the Jewish state’s top justice official.
When asked by The Algemeiner on Sunday if it would concern her if any of the prisoners were to die, Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked answered with a resounding, “No,” before adding, “It’s their own problem.”
“We should remember that some of them are murderers of women and children, they were involved in murdering, they were supporting terror attacks, so they are not innocent prisoners,” Shaked, a 41-year-old rising political star in Israel from the HaBayit HaYehudi party, said in an interview on the sidelines of a conference organized by the Jerusalem Post in New York.
Her tone was reminiscent of the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who was equally unsympathetic when IRA hunger strikers demanded various concessions nearly four decades ago. “Faced with the failure of their discredited cause, the men of violence have chosen in recent months to play what may well be their last card,” Thatcher said of the hunger strikers in May 1981.
Palestinian prisoners in Israel, Shaked explained, have “got everything they should according to international law, and even above it. They are not getting the minimum, they are getting above it. So, if they want to have a strike, it’s their problem.”
In 2014, rival Israeli politician Avigdor Lieberman, the Yisrael Beiteinu head now serving as Israel’s defense minister, took a similar stance, praising Thatcher for refusing to “submit to the prisoners’ demands.”
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