JERUSALEM – Israel Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich has withdrawn his opposition to a new bill that would cancel the numerous privileges that thousands of Hamas convicts incarcerated in Israeli jails currently enjoy.Mr. Aharonovich yesterday held a meeting this week on this subject with a number of pertinent officials.

Likud Member of the Israel Knesset Parliament Danny Danon introduced a new bill to the cabinet stipulating that members of a terrorist organization that is holding an Israeli soldier without allowing him visitation rights would also be withheld visitation rights while in prison.

The bill was drafted after the Israeli media exposed the “summer camp conditions” that the Hamas convicts enjoy during their terms of incarceration in Israeli jails.

Many professionals said they believed that the most pressing and effective pressure that could be applied on Hamas would be to cut back dramatically on the privileges that the Hamas convicts receive in Israeli prisons.

It became evident that Hamas convicts receive numerous visits, are allowed physical contact with their children, have cable TV (at the tax-payers’ expense) in their cells, receive a regular supply of newspapers and magazines, and even pursue academic studies without any limitations while in Israeli prison.

They are due none of those privileges according to either international law or the Geneva Convention.

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.

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