Ben-Gvir looks to impose four-minute shower time on Palestinian prisoners

The New Arab  /  February 21, 2023

Israel’s new far-right security minister is expected to impose a new four-minute limit on the shower time of Palestinian prisoners, in a bid to make life more miserable for detainees.

A four-minute shower time is likely to be imposed on Palestinian prisoners under the new far-right Israel Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israeli media reported on Tuesday. 

The rule limiting shower times has already been enforced in two wings of Nafha Prison, where 70 Palestinian prisoners were moved in early January 2023 as part of an organised campaign to quell dissent among detainees. 

However, Ben-Gvir is expected to impose these restrictions across prisons in Israel,  as part of a crackdown on what he calls “luxury” conditions for Palestinian prisoners and make life even more miserable for the detainees. 

“Not three minutes, not five or six, but exactly four; the minister must have consulted with experts and mathematicians. This is the kind of applied math that we in Israel excel at and that the bureaucracy of control and subjugation needs,” Haaretz said. 

Ben-Gvir has  ordered that the “benefits and indulgences” of Palestinian prisoners be cancelled and called for the “death penalty” to be used against “terrorists”.  The “benefits” he proposes to cancel include the operation of bakeries,

This crackdown has been met with rising dissent among detainees, who are likely to participate in a mass hunger strike from March 22 in protest against their deteriorating living conditions. 

Reports from inside Israeli jails say tensions are at “boiling point”  following a series of provocative searches of female prisoners’ rooms at the Damon prison near Haifa

“He thinks that because 4,000 prisoners are in their jails he can do what he wants, but he will be choked because they affect the situation outside the jails,” said Qaddura Fares, head of the Palestinian Prisoners Society. 

More than 4,600 Palestinian prisoners are held in Israeli jails, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Club (PPC). Around 500 of them are held in administrative detention, without charge or trial.