Palestinian prisoners party in their cell block

Palestinian prisoners party in their cell block

Video shows inmates celebrating engagement of convicted terrorist Samar Abu Kwick

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Palestinian security prisoners hold an engagement party in prison. (screen capture: Youtube/HakolHayehudi)
Palestinian security prisoners hold an engagement party in prison. (screen capture: Youtube/HakolHayehudi)

A video clip showing convicted Palestinian terrorists celebrating the engagement of one of their own in an Israeli prison was posted to the Internet and has been raising ire over the conditions granted the convicts by authorities.

The story was broken by the Hakol Hayehudi website on Tuesday before it was reported on by the mainstream Hebrew media. The video was apparently filmed with a cellphone smuggled into the prison against regulations.

The focus of the video is Samar Abu Kwick, who is serving three life sentences in Eshel Prison for terror attacks against Israelis during the Second Intifada.

In the undated clip, several inmates are seen gathered in a cell around tables laid out with drinks and snacks, reportedly to celebrate Kwick’s engagement. As music blares in the background, the inmates greet Kwick with hugs and kisses before settling down to enjoy the feast.

Kwick was convicted of murdering Sarah Lisha and two IDF soldiers, Elad Valenstein and Amit Zana, in a 2000 terror attack at the Halamish junction in the West Bank.

“We pray for the day when these murderers will be wiped out,” the Lisha family told Hakol Hayehudi. “That way we won’t have to pay all the money and expenses that are poured on them.”

The Israel Prison Services strictly bans mobile phones from prisoners, and the incident appeared to highlight inmates’ success in circumventing prison security to smuggle in such devices.

“Prisoner-owned mobile phones are forbidden,” the IPS said in a statement. “The Israeli Prison Service is waging a war against attempts to smuggle them into jails, with the help of meticulous searches and technological devices.”

Security prisoners, in contrast to those convicted of criminal offenses, are forbidden from having conjugal visits or marrying while serving out their terms. They are also denied family visitation rights, a regulation that increases their motivation to smuggle phones into prison.

The Maariv daily cited Palestinian Authority sources who expressed disapproval of the video, saying it could result in a tightening of conditions as it depicted life on the inside as being pleasant.

“People who watch the video can fall under the impression that life in Israeli prisons is easy and all they do all the time is have parties and feasts,” the Palestinian sources were quoted as saying.

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