The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) stepped up punitive measures against Palestinian prisoners in the Ktziot detention center on Thursday, after a Palestinian prisoner attacked an Israeli warden with a razor blade the night before, the head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said.
Issa Qaraqe told Ma’an that IPS forces raided Sections 13, 14, 15, and 16 of Ktziot looking for the perpetrator.
He added that IPS imposed collective punishment measures on the Palestinian prisoners, cutting off electricity and using pepper spray against the prisoners in all the raided sections.
The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) reported on Thursday that IPS was planning on conducting new raids in Section 2 and 3 of Ktziot.
An IPS spokesperson confirmed to Ma’an that an attack had taken place against a warden in Ktziot, but could not immediately provide further details.
Meanwhile, Hebrew-language news sites reported that IPS had transferred 40 Palestinian prisoners from Ktziot and Nafha to other prisons on Thursday, adding that prisoners had attempted to prevent the transfer process.
Qaraqe said that IPS had escalated tensions in Ktziot after reports emerged on Wednesday that a Palestinian prisoner had allegedly stabbed and lightly injured an IPS officer in Nafha prison.
Qaraqe said at the time that IPS conducted “humiliating” punitive procedures against Palestinian prisoners in Nafha, forcing them to fully undress and stand outside of their prison section naked as the wardens searched through their belongings and cut off the electricity.
The Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements warned against an escalation of Israeli procedures against Palestinian prisoners on Thursday.Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum denounced the “dangerous and savage” raids in Ktziot and Nafha, identifying the Palestinian prisoner who reportedly stabbed an IPS warden in Nafha as Hamas member Khalid al-Silawi and saying that he had acted in “self-defense” and in reaction to continuous Israeli violations and raids against Palestinian prisoners.
Hamas identified the prisoner who attacked an IPS officer in Ktziot as Ahmad Amr Nassar.Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shihab said that the group was standing in support of Palestinian prisoners and their struggle against Israeli violations, and called on the broader Palestinian public to protest these actions.
According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians were detained by Israel as of October.
IPS authorities have regularly used raids, confiscation of personal belongings, and forcible prison transfers to suppress resistance among Palestinian prisoners.
A small fraction of Palestinians detained by Israel are held inside the occupied territory, while the vast majority are transferred to prisons inside Israel, limiting their access to their families, legal support, and communities, and also stripping detainees of their rights under the Fourth Geneva Convention.