Hamas, Islamic Jihad Prisoners Plan Hunger Strike After Israeli Guard Stabbed in Latest Incident

Prisoners plan to strike on April 7, and may be joined be other Palestinian factions ■ Tensions between inmates and Israel's Prison Service peak after two stabbing incidents

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Emergency forces at Ktzi'ot Prison in southern Israel, March 25, 2019.
Emergency forces at Ktzi'ot Prison in southern Israel, March 25, 2019.Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz

Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners in Israel announced that they plan to launch a hunger strike on April 7. Prisoners from other Palestinian factions may also join the strike, the Palestinian Prisoners' Club said.

There are currently no negotiations between the prisoner's leadership and the Israel Prison Service, sources in the group say.

The planned strike comes after a Palestinian prisoner tried to stab an Israeli prison officer at the Keziot Prison this week, a day after an incident in which two prison officers there were stabbed. He is accused of assault with intent to cause serious harm and of being in possession of a prohibited object.

The State Prosecutor on Thursday filed charges against the administrative prisoner, 33-year-old Anas Awad.

>> Read more: Gazans are fed up with fearing Hamas | Opinion ■ 'Endless trip to hell': Israel jails hundreds of Palestinian boys a year. These are their testimoniesThe Israel Prison Service’s brutal raid on Palestinians ‘to locate unauthorized cellphones’ | Analysis

Haaretz Weekly Episode 20Credit: Haaretz

According to the indictment, while guards were taking the prisoners from their cells to the showers, one officer noticed Awad holding a knife that was 8.5 centimeters long. The officer shouted a warning and tried to take the weapon from Awad but the latter tried to stab him, aiming the weapon at the officer's head and neck. Another jailer rushed to assist the guard and was able to stop Awad.

During the incident, one officer was seriously wounded and transferred to Be'er Sheva's Soroka Hospita, where his condition later stabilized. The second officer was lightly wounded. Clashes ensued between the Prison Service and the prisoners, throughout which 11 prisoners, including the ones who stabbed the officers, were injured. Two prisoners were seriously in the riots.

As a result, the Prison Service has raised the alert level at all of the facilities for security prisoners to prevent further riots. The incident has also heightened tensions between Hamas prisoners and the Prison Service following the installation of technology to block outgoing calls from prisoners’ cell phones. The reception disrupters were installed in the Hamas wings of Ramon and Ketziot Prisons as part of a pilot planned to run for several months and later be expanded to all the prison wings that house security prisoners.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel


Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism