Hamas inmate indicted for attempting to stab prison guard

33-year-old Anas Awad attacked jailer with a shank on Monday amid a rash of violent incidents in Israeli jails

Illustrative: Ketziot Prison, August 2009. (Moshe Shai/Flash90/File)
Illustrative: Ketziot Prison, August 2009. (Moshe Shai/Flash90/File)

A Hamas inmate imprisoned in Israel was indicted on Thursday for attempting to stab a prison guard earlier this week.

The Southern District Attorney’s Office filed the indictment with the Beersheba District Court against Anas Awad, 33, a security prisoner at the Ketziot prison in southern Israel, prosecutors said.

Awad pulled an 8.5-centimeter (3.3 inch) shank on a guard on Monday. He is being charged with attempt to cause serious injury and possession of a dangerous and forbidden object.

He attacked the guard with the improvised dagger during a routine search and was quickly overpowered by officers. There were no injuries in the incident, the Israel Prisons Service said in a statement.

The incident came shortly after Hamas, a Gaza-based terror group that seeks to destroy Israel, warned the Jewish state not to continue its “policies of suppression” against inmates in the prison.

“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.

Israeli officials have in recent months worked to downgrade the conditions of security prisoners, amid protests from the inmates.

On Sunday evening, Hamas prisoners stabbed two guards at the same prison, injuring one of them seriously in the neck. The attack sparked a riot in which 11 inmates were also reported hurt.

Israeli soldiers evacuate a wounded guard of the Israel Prison Service to Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva, southern Israel, on March 24, 2019. Two prison service guards were stabbed by Hamas prisoners at the Ketziot Prison. (Meir Even Haim/Flash90 )

According to Hebrew reports, the guards were attacked with improvised shanks. 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.

The incident came a week after Hamas prisoners in the Ramon prison torched 14 beds in the facility. The blaze was quickly extinguished and no injuries were reported. In that incident too, prisoners were protesting restrictions on cellphone usage.

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