Palestinian Prisoners Riot in Israeli Prisoner; One Guard Wounded

A Palestinian prisoner was filmed backing cake in his cell. When guards came to take him to solitary a riot broke out

ILLUSTRATION: Prisoners in Israel
Tomer Appelbaum

A riot broke out Friday in a prison housing Palestinians convicted by Israel for security-related offenses. The riot was sparked by an attempt to move a Palestinian prisoner to solitary confinement as punishment for a video that leaked online in which he can be seen baking a cake in his cell. One guard was wounded in the riot at the Nafha Prison.

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The inmate at the center of the riot, Halil Abu Aram, is serving five live sentences for terrorism. He was recorded in a cellphone video smiling and preparing cakes for Id al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan, together with other inmates. Guards searched his cell but could not find a cellphone. After the video went put online, the prison service decided to move him to solitary confinement.

When the guards arrived at his cell block and attempted to move him, the other prisoners began to physically attack them, banging on the walls and refusing to go back to their cells. Eventually, eight of the prisoners were taken to solitary and one of the guards was hurt and was then taken to the prison clinic where he was treated for light wounds.  

The prison service even called up their special forces in wake of the incident, but the prison guards had regained control over the situation before the forces arrived.

Abu Aram, from the Yatta village in the southern West Bank, near Hebron, is considered one of the most senior terrorists in Israeli prison. In 2002, he was arrested after heading a terror cell which murdered five Israelis and planned a string of suicide attacks.