Abdel Hapaz Saaudi Gitaan, a Palestinian who is serving time in an Israeli prison has received a Phd in public administration, the Jerusalem Post reported. The Jerusalem Post reported that the degree was awarded by the American World University in cooperation with Birzeit University, the Jerusalem Post reported today.
The Center For Prisoner Education, which sponsored his education in an Israeli prison noted as follows.
“Gitaan’s third degree is meant to break the state occupation, which tries to torture prisoners and isolate them from the world.”
It is by no means unusual for Arab prisoners to get college degrees while imprisoned in Israel. YNET News reported last year that 100 security prisoners had received a degree while imprisoned in Israel in that year, with 250 additional prisoners studying for degrees. YNET News notes as follows the quality of treatment given to Arab security prisoners in Israel, in stark contrast to the treatment given Israelis captured by Hamas or Hezbollah.
Security prisoners jailed in Israel enjoy further generous benefits, including hot water all day long, ventilators, a television with all Arab channels, and the option to borrow books from the prison library. In addition, each prisoner has a walkman, a radio and a budget for the jail’s canteen.
The security prisoners are allowed the send four letters a month and receive an unlimited number of letters. They are entitled to a family visit once every two weeks, and are allowed to have their picture taken by the prison’s photographer and to send the photo to their families.
All of this is on top a full range of medical care, which includes visits to an optician.
Amazingly enough one person who has a degree earned in an Israeli prison is Sami Kuntar, an individual who on April 22, 1979 murdered a man in front of his 4 year old daughter and then bashed the little girl’s head in with the butt of his rifle. While the father and child were being murdered, the mother of the little girl tried to stifle the cries of her 2 year old daughter and accidentally smothered her to death. Kuntar was convicted of those three murders plus that of a policeman.
In 2008, Kuntar was released in exchange for the remains of 2 Israeli prisoners, , Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, who did not receive a college degrees while in Arab captivity. Kuntar received a national welcome from Lebanon’s top leadership and appeared at a huge rally staged in his honor.
Has the humane treatment and education of Arab prisoners, including those who have murdered children earned Israel any respect or appreciation? To the contrary, it seems to have emboldened those people who want to wipe Israel off the map.
It could be argued that the kindness shown to Arab security prisoners is seen as weakness rather than as a desire for peace. Gilad Shalit was captured by Hamas in a cross border raid by Hamas and is presumed to be imprisoned in the Gaza strip.Will Hamas accord Gilad Shalit the humane treatment given Hamas prisoners by the Israelis? These are issues that should be brought up in Washington during the peace talks.