Three Palestinians in court for assaulting Israeli prison officials

Three Palestinians were today prosecuted for assaulting two Israeli prison officials during Israeli raids in Nafha and Ketziot prisons.

According to Yousif Nanasra, a lawyer for the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, the Israeli court prosecuted Palestinian prisoners Khalid Al-Silawi and brothers Ahmad and Mahmoud Nasser.

Nanasra said Al-Silawi, who is from the besieged Gaza Strip and is serving an 18-year jail term, allegedly stabbed an Israeli prison officer on Wednesday with a sharp tool in Nafha prison in response to Messada officers, the “takeover” unit of the Israel Prison Service (IPS) “violently raiding” section 1 of the prison and reportedly destroying the prisoners’ personal belongings.

Al-Silawi told Nasasra that at least 15 Israeli prison officials of the Messada unit assaulted him, leaving him with bruises.

He also noted that IPS officials did not provide medical care, despite his condition.

Israeli news sites reported at the time of the alleged stabbing that a Palestinian prisoner “attacked an Israeli prison warden with a sharp tool” causing the warden to suffer a light injury.

Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs head Issa Qaraqe said in a statement that immediately following the incident, IPS officials began conducting punitive procedures “humiliating Palestinian prisoners”.

Qaraqe called the situation at the time in Nafha “unbearable,” and said that the stabbing was a Palestinian prisoner “reacting to these [common] procedures and trying to defend himself.”

Meanwhile, Palestinian prisoners Ahmad Nasser, from the village of Madama in Nablus and held in Israel’s Ketziot prison for a two year prison sentence, told Nanasra that at least 30 Israeli prison officials raided section 30 of the prison, and assaulted him.

He added that they had beaten him on the head, causing him to faint. According to Ahmad, IPS officials also initially refused him medical care until he was taken to Soroka hospital in Beer Sheba.

Ahmad emphasised that Israeli forces treated him “very badly” and also reported being assaulted by Israeli forces while en route to the hospital.

Ahmad’s brother, Mahmoud, sentenced to five years in prison and also currently held in Ketziot prison, told Nanasra that Israeli forces had raided section 16 and fired sound bombs and used pepper spray on the prisoners.

He added that he was also assaulted by some 30 Israeli prison officers.

Mahmoud said that he was “forced to hit” one of the prison officers with a razor blade in response to the violent raids.

He added that he was still suffering from the assault, which he said caused several parts of his body to swell, and noted that another Palestinian prisoner – Saleh Attah from Ramallah – was also assaulted and suffered from fractions in his hand and an injury on his face. Mahmoud said Attah was also left without any medical treatment.


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