Hamas warned Israel on Monday against “continuing policies of suppression” against inmates in the Ketziot prison in the Negev, hours after prisoners who were members of the terror group stabbed two guards and sparked a riot.
“Our struggling Palestinian people, its forces and resistance stand behind [the prisoners] and will not give up on their duty in defending them and supporting them until they are liberated,” the terror group said in a statement on its official website.
“The movement calls on our people, its factions, and elites to immediately support [our prisoners] in a large way with all means and tools and to quickly take action with all parties and institutions to protect them,” the statement added.
The statement came after a rocket was fired from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip at central Israel, injuring seven; it made no mention of the projectile.
Hamas prisoners stabbed two guards at the Ketziot prison in southern Israel on Sunday evening, injuring one of them seriously, according to prison services. The attack sparked a riot in which 11 inmates were also reported hurt.
The badly wounded guard sustained stab wounds to the neck, while the second was lightly hurt with a hand injury. The guards were airlifted to the nearby Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba for treatment.
The hospital later said the condition of the guard had stabilized and he was listed in a moderate condition.
According to Hebrew reports, the guards were attacked with improvised weapons fashioned into knives. The riot came as security prisoners were being moved between cells, and during an ongoing effort by Israel to restrict cellphone usage by the prisoners, including the installation of jamming systems.
Eleven prisoners were injured and hospitalized after security forces quelled the riot. Seven of the prisoners were also airlifted to hospital by the IDF, the Haaretz daily reported. Their condition was not immediately clear, with the Israel Prison Service saying they were “in various conditions.”
The prison service said the situation was under control, but gave no details on how it put down the riot.
The incident came a week after Hamas prisoners in the Ramon prison torched 14 beds, setting a fire in the wing.
The blaze was quickly extinguished and no injuries were reported. In that incident too, prisoners were protesting restrictions on cellphone usage.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said the attack “was very serious and proves once again that the prisons service is on the front line of the war against terror.”
Erdan vowed the jamming would continue, saying that blocking prisoners’ ability to use cellphones was an important step in attempts to prevent “terror attacks being directed from within the prison against Israeli civilians.”