Monday, June 14, 2021
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Israel closes case of prison officers filmed beating Palestinians

Israel has closed a case that concerned at the least 10 Israeli officers who had been filmed beating Palestinian inmates, in accordance with an Israeli media report, in what has been described as one of essentially the most violent incidents towards prisoners in an Israeli jail.

Israeli each day Haaretz reported on Friday that solely 4 officers had been questioned and none was arrested after the incident on March 24, 2019, at Wing 3 of Ketziot Prison, the place dozens of Hamas members had been being held.

Footage confirmed about 55 Palestinian prisoners bent over on the ground and restrained, as Israeli officers punched, kicked and beat them with batons. The prisoners had been ordered to not communicate nor transfer for hours.

The Israel police unit investigating prison personnel mentioned the official purpose for the escalation was an “unknown offender”, earlier than closing the investigation, Haaretz mentioned.

According to the Israeli media, a Hamas member who was among the many detainees had reportedly stabbed two officers, leaving one of them wounded, earlier that day.

At the time of the incident, the prison service had mentioned in an announcement that prison guards tried to revive order within the wing after riots broke out following the stabbings.

But the footage confirmed no riots. Instead, safety digicam footage confirmed safety guards beating the prisoners with none provocation.

‘They were going to kill us’

According to Amir Salum, a 26-year-old from Shofat, a Palestinian refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem, who was serving a four-year sentence in Ketziot Prison on the time of the incident, the scenario escalated with none purpose.

“They decided to transfer us from Wing 4 to Wing 3,” Salum, who filed a criticism, instructed Haaretz.

“Suddenly, in the middle of the move, we heard someone shout ‘stabbing, stabbing!’ Within a few minutes, guards from the Masada [Israel Police Service] unit came in and started shooting these steel bullets at us. We then fled to the other side of the wing,” he mentioned.

Another unit then entered and “put us in restraints and no one resisted, and then they simply began to beat us with batons”, Salum continued.

“They tossed us into the centre of the wing, like we had been nothing, and beat us with out us having the ability to defend ourselves.

“We were sure they were going to kill us,” he was quoted as saying by Haaretz.

“Everyone prayed to God. Only after seeing all the blood around me did one of the officers order that I be taken to the clinic. They beat me along the way, too,” Salum mentioned.

Another prisoner, who additionally filed a criticism in regards to the incident that night time, described the occasions as “brutal, random violence by the guards, saying a guard beat him seven or eight times with an iron baton”, reported Haaretz.

Ali Da’ana, a Palestinian prisoner serving a 20-year sentence for tried homicide, mentioned in his criticism that the guards waged a marketing campaign of retaliation towards the prisoner, in accordance with the each day.

“I was beaten mercilessly by masked guards as I lay on the floor, for no reason,” he recalled. “It was revenge. I told one of them that I had a chronic illness and he said it didn’t matter. They kept hitting,” he mentioned.

Lack of proof

The Israeli police reportedly didn’t determine all of the officers concerned within the incident, regardless of the presence of the video footage.

According to Haaretz, police investigators mentioned the safety cameras weren’t sufficient to determine the officers within the prison wing that night time.

The prisoners declared they may determine the perpetrators, however no additional investigation was performed.

Instead, solely 4 officers had been briefly questioned on suspicion of battery.

Albert Goldberg, a commander at Ketziot Prison, mentioned a riot broke out within the wing following the alleged stabbing.

“It was decided to call backup to calm the situation … To the best of my knowledge, there was controlled use of force to conduct the mission and there were no exceptions,” he instructed Haaretz.

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