Israel closes case of prison officials filmed beating Palestinians | News of Israel-Palestine conflict

Israel has closed a case involving at least 10 Israeli officers who were filmed beating Palestinian prisoners, according to an Israeli media report, in what has been described as one of the most violent incidents against prisoners. in an Israeli prison.

The Israeli daily Haaretz reported On Friday only four officers were interrogated and none were arrested after the incident on March 24, 2019, in the 3rd wing of Ketziot prison, where dozens of Hamas members were being held.

The footage showed about 55 Palestinian prisoners bent on the ground and detained, while Israeli officers beat them, kicked them and beat them with sticks. The prisoners were ordered not to speak or move for hours.

The Israeli police unit that investigated the prison staff said the official reason for the escalation was an “unknown criminal,” before closing the investigation, Haaretz said.

According to Israeli media, a Hamas member who was among the detainees had shot two officers, leaving one of them injured, the day before.

At the time of the incident, the prison service had said in a statement that the prison guards had been trying to restore order in the wing following the insurgency following the attacks.

But the footage showed no revolt. Instead, security camera footage shows security guards beating prisoners without any provocation.

“They’re going to kill us”

According to Amir Salum, a 26-year-old man from Shofat, an occupied Palestinian refugee camp in East Jerusalem, who was serving a four-year sentence in Ketziot prison at the time of the incident, the situation has escalated without a hitch. reason.

“They have decided to move from Wing 4 to Wing 3,” Salum, who filed a complaint, told Haaretz.

“Suddenly, in the middle of the movement, we heard someone screaming” fight, fight! “In a few minutes, guards from the Masada [Israel Police Service] unit came in and started pulling these steel balls towards us. Then we fled to the other side of the wing, ”he said.

Another unit then entered and “put us in restraint and no one resisted, and then they just started beating us with sticks,” Salum continued.

“They flashed us in the center of the wing, as if we were nothing, and they beat us without us being able to defend ourselves.

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

“Everyone was praying to God. Only after seeing all the blood around me did one of the officers order me to be taken to the clinic. They beat me down the road too, ”Salum said.

Another prisoner, who also filed a complaint about the incident that night, described the facts as “brutal, accidental violence by guards, saying a guard beat him seven or eight times with a stick of iron, ”Haaretz said.

Ali Da’ana, a Palestinian prisoner serving a 20-year sentence for attempted murder, said in his complaint that the guards had launched a revenge campaign against the prisoner, according to the daily.

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

Lack of evidence

Israeli police did not identify all officers involved in the incident, despite the presence of the footage.

According to Haaretz, police investigators said security cameras were not enough to identify prison wing officers that night.

Prisoners said they could identify the perpetrators, but no investigation has been conducted.

However, only four officers were briefly interrogated on suspicion of battery life.

Albert Goldberg, commander of the Ketziot prison, said a revolt had broken out in the wake after the alleged fistfight.

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

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