The scene looked unreal, but it was on brand for the most far-right government in Israel's history. National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir sat at a desk, speaking jubilantly in front of a large tray of food. Before stuffing his face with fresh bread, he bragged that Palestinian prisoners were now banned from baking bread, adding that this measure was "only the beginning".
The incident earlier this year provoked no international backlash, criticism or pressure. So Ben Gvir began implementing even more cruel, degrading and inhumane measures against Palestinian prisoners, eventually pushing nearly 1,000 of them to launch an open-ended hunger strike last month to protest the dire conditions.
That only prompted Ben Gvir to squeeze them even more, arbitrarily reducing family visits for those jailed over "security offences" to once every two months. Palestinian prisoners had plans to collectively declare another hunger strike on 14 September but suspended it after Israeli jail authorities cancelled the decision to restrict prisoners' family visits.