Hamas prisoner charged with trying to kill guards at Ketziot jail
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Hamas prisoner charged with trying to kill guards at Ketziot jail

Islam Alushachaya indicted for attempted murder for stabbing two guards, one in the neck, sparking March 24 prison riot

Prison guards during anti-riot training at Ketziot Prison, April 2019 (Israel Prisons Authority)
Prison guards during anti-riot training at Ketziot Prison, April 2019 (Israel Prisons Authority)

Prosecutors filed attempted murder charges Thursday against a Hamas security prisoner who stabbed two guards last month at Ketziot prison in the Negev, sparking a riot.

“Islam Alushachaya, a security prisoner in Ketziot Prison, is charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault of prison guards on nationalistic grounds,” the State Prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

The indictment alleges Alushachaya, 36, tried to kill prison guards in retaliation for attempts by Israeli authorities to stop prisoners from using contraband cellphones in the prison, where convicted terrorists are serving sentences. The ongoing effort to restrict cellphone usage by the prisoners has included the installation of jamming systems.

Some 150 Palestinian security prisoners held in Rimon and Ketziot prisons launched a hunger strike on Monday over the action, as well as Israel’s refusal to allow family visits from Hamas-ruled Gaza.

Alushachaya is serving a 19-year sentence for terror attacks including the attempted murder of Israeli civilians by escorting a suicide bomber to Hadera.

Deputy prisons commissioner Asher Vaknin, (left) visits jail guard Sagi Silwan, who was stabbed in the neck by a Hamas prisoner at Ketziot Prison March 24, 2019. (Israel Prisons Authority screenshot)

The indictment says the prisoner prepared two shivs from pieces of metal he cut from food trays in the prison and hid them under his mattress.

On March 24 while prisoners were being transferred to a different prison wing for a search of their belongings, Alushachaya took one of the shivs out of his pocket and charged a prison guard, stabbing him in the neck while shouting “Allahu Akbar,” the prosecution statement said.

A second officer rushed over and managed to restrain Alushachaya, who stabbed him in the shoulder.

Both guards were hospitalized, with Sagi Silwan, who had been stabbed in the neck, in serious condition. Both have since been released.

“At first I was worried that I had been hit in the artery,” Silwan said. “At the hospital they managed to stop the bleeding and it turned out to be very close to the artery. By a miracle it is okay.”

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