Palestinian martyred, 250 injured in Negev Prison

Printing Date: 10/24/2007

al manar tv news


Violent clashes have flared at an Israeli occupation jail, killing one and injuring hundreds of Palestinian inmates who were attacked by Israeli prison guards armed with tear-gas and batons, officials said. Around 250 Palestinian detainees and 15 Israeli occupation prison guards were injured. Palestinians protested the incident, which they said highlighted the unjust treatment of Israeli detainees. The Palestinian Authority condemned the violence and the Hamas resistance movement held a demonstration in the West Bank.

The Prisoners Club, the main group representing Palestinians held in the occupied territories, said the clashes broke out at Ketziot prison in the southern Negev desert after guards started what it termed "provocative" cell searches. Palestinians responded by hurling objects at the guards, who fired rubber bullets and used tear-gas and batons to disperse the protest, said the Prisoners Club, saying that up to 200 inmates were injured. Mohammad al-Askar, 26, later died from his injuries at a hospital outside of Tel Aviv, a medical official said. He had just two months left to serve on a five-year prison sentence.

Prisoners Club chairman Qadura Fares described the situation at Ketziot, where around 2,000 Palestinians are held, as "serious".

A spokeswoman for the occupying regime's prison center confirmed that clashes began when guards tried to search a tented area where 5,000 Palestinians are being held. Inmates set fire to tents and threw objects at the advancing jail guards, who used riot dispersal methods to control the unrest, Yarona Zamir told France's AFP news agency.

The Club said the 11,000 Palestinians held in occupied territories would go on hunger strike from Tuesday to protest against "repression" at Ketziot.

The Islamic Hamas movement called hundreds of people into the streets in the southern West Bank town of Al-Khalil to protest the incident. Hundreds of people turned out for the demonstration, but police loyal to Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas dispersed the crowds by firing in the air.

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina meanwhile denounced what he called "Israeli aggression" against Palestinian detainees.

"The prisoners issue should be closed as quickly as possible, otherwise the peace process can't move forward," he told reporters in the West Bank town of Ramallah.