Israeli guards 'beat Gilboa prisoners' after Palestinian jail breakout

Israeli guards 'beat Gilboa prisoners' after Palestinian jail breakout
Palestinian prisoners transferred from Gilboa to Shata Prison told Israeli police investigators that they had been handcuffed, thrown to the floor, cursed, kicked, and punched by prison guards
2 min read
09 December, 2021
Six Palestinian prisoners escaped Gilboa Prison on 6 September [Getty]

Palestinians at Israel's Gilboa Prison have told police investigators of how they were beaten and mistreated by guards a day after their fellow inmates pulled off a daring escape from the jail, Haaretz reported.

Gilboa inmates were transferred to Shata Prison on 7 September, a day after six Palestinian prisoners broke out of Gilboa

Ahmad Qonba, one of the prisoners who testified against the prison guards, said they were transferred after an inmate suffering from ill mental health poured hot water on a guard.

Before the transfer, the inmates were handcuffed and taken to an empty room, where they were left for a few hours, Qonba said.

Qonba said that when they arrived at Shata, a guard beat him all over his body. The same guard beat other prisoners and then beat him again, this time in front of other guards, he said.

Other prisoners said that they had also been handcuffed, thrown to the floor, cursed, kicked and punched. Some said they saw guards use pepper spray on prisoners.

Nadia Daqqa, attorney for the prisoners who filed complaints against the prison guards, said Qonba's testimony shows "especially violent behavior that was unjustified and significantly exceeds the regulations".

"It reaches the level of endangering the prisoner’s life, collective punishment and criminal behavior in every way."

The Israeli Prison Service told Haaretz that it could not comment on the case because the investigation is ongoing.

In response to the Gilboa Prison break, an embarrassed Israel imposed fresh punishment on Palestinian prisoners, including putting some in isolation and denying food and family visits.

All six of the Gilboa escapees were recaptured within a fortnight.

Lawyers for the six men said that they were placed in solitary confinement, beaten, and tortured after their recapture.