5-year-old boy caught smuggling phones to Palestinian security prisoners

5-year-old boy caught smuggling phones to Palestinian security prisoners

Guards place convict responsible in solitary confinement after finding 10 devices and 3 SIM cards in the child’s underwear

Illustrative: Smuggled cellphones discovered in an Israeli prison, October 2017 (Israel Police)
Illustrative: Smuggled cellphones discovered in an Israeli prison, October 2017 (Israel Police)

Guards caught a 5-year-old boy smuggling cellphones and SIM cards to security prisoners at the Ketziot Prison in southern Israel on Wednesday, Hebrew media reported.

The boy was the child of one of the convicts, a resident of the Palestinian village of Yatta serving 12 years for conspiracy to commit manslaughter and for manufacturing explosives. He was placed in solitary confinement following the incident, the Ynet news site said.

Upon noticing the boy making abnormal movements, the guards conducted a search of the 5-year-old. They found 10 cellphones and three SIM cards hidden in his underwear, Channel 2 said.

The family members who had visited with the boy were detained, and police opened an investigation into the matter.

The prison services have been waging a long-running battle to prevent the phones — many of them very small — from being smuggled to the prisoners.

Joint (Arab) List MK Basel Ghattas at a press conference in Nazareth, March 17, 2017. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

Last month, police announced that five people working for a company supplying canteen products to Israeli prisons had been arrested for smuggling phones and SIM cards to prisoners. One of those arrested was a Palestinian and four were Israeli citizens.

In January, police caught a man as he tried to smuggle cellphones and money to a prisoner serving a life sentence for national security crimes.

In July, Basel Ghattas, a former MK, was jailed for smuggling cellphones to security prisoners while he was serving as a lawmaker for the Joint (Arab) List party. Footage from a Prisons Service surveillance camera showed the Arab lawmaker passing envelopes to prisoners at the Ketziot Prison in the south.

In April, the Beersheba Magistrate’s Court accepted a plea bargain reached between state prosecutors and Ghattas, who was convicted of exploiting his position to sneak cellphones and notes to convicted Palestinian terrorists.

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