Israel Prison Service released footage of Marwan Barghouti, one of the leaders of the hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, eating in his cell.
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The prison service says Barghouti, who serves multiple life sentences for his role in the killing of Israelis during the second intifada, has twice been filmed eating since the strike began. The first time, on April 27, the footage shows him eating cookies. He removed the cookies from a hiding place in his bathroom, looked around to see that nobody was watching and then ate them. He then tried to conceal the evidence by hiding the wrapping and washing his hands and face.
The second time, on May 5, he employed the same technique. This time, he was filmed eating a candy bar. At the end, he was also seen eating salt.
The Israel Prison Service didn’t say how Barghouti obtained the food, but sources in the organization confirmed that they set him up in an attempt to see whether Barghouti was really sticking to the hunger strike.
Barghouti’s lawyer, attorney Elias Sabbagh, said in response to the video that, “This was expected as part of the psychological and media war the Israel Prison Service is conducting against the prisoners. We can’t address the content of the clip so long as they don’t let us meet with Marwan. Let us visit him and then we will check the claims with him."
The footage was allegedly filmed in the Kishon Prison, to which Barghouti was transferred after the strike began.
“As we’ve said all along, the terrorists’ hunger strike isn’t about their prison conditions, but only about Barghouti’s desire to bolster his status in preparation for the day after Abu Mazen,” said Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, referring to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas by his nickname. “Barghouti is cynically exploiting the terrorists for a hunger strike for which they are paying and will pay a heavy price, while he himself can’t restrain his own appetites.”
Barghouti was sentenced in 2004 to five life sentences after being convicted of murder.