Hamas inmates attack Israeli guards in prison protests

Officers in two separate jails lightly hurt by screwdriver-wielding members of terror group that urges other prisoners to follow suit

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

An undated photo of Nafha and Ramon prisons in southern Israel. (Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90)
An undated photo of Nafha and Ramon prisons in southern Israel. (Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90)

Two Palestinian security prisoners belonging to the Hamas terror group lightly wounded two guards by attacking them with screwdrivers in separate incidents at Israeli jails Wednesday.

On Wednesday morning, Khaled A-Silawi from the Gazan city of Beit Lahia, attacked a guard in the Hamas block of the Nafha Prison outside the southern town of Mitzpe Ramon, Channel 10 reported. He was overpowered and transferred to solitary confinement.

Later in the day, during a prisoner count in the Hamas block of Ketziot Prison, southwest of Beersheba, Ahmad Omar Natzar from the West Bank town of Madama also attacked a guard. He too was overpowered and sent to an isolation cell.

During the evening, Hamas held a protest in support of A-Silawi and urged other prisoners to follow his example.

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

Hamas reported the clashes between its organization’s prisoners and security guards on Wednesday evening, according to Channel 10, and claimed several prisoners had lost consciousness after guards used tear gas on them.

The group also claimed that the prisons service had cut electricity to blocks housing Hamas prisoners, although it did not specify in which prisons.

In the absence of firearms, screwdrivers, along with knives, have become a weapon of choice for Palestinian terrorists.

In December, a Palestinian approached a group of officers near the Austrian Hospice in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. As he got close to them, he pulled out a screwdriver and attacked the officers, stabbing one in the head and the other in the upper body, police said. The attacker was shot and mortally wounded.

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