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Committee: Israeli forces storm Nafha prison, 'assault' Palestinian prisoners

Jan. 31, 2017 1:23 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 7, 2017 5:09 P.M.)
(File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian prisoners set fire to a cell in Israel's Nafha prison in the Negev region of southern Israel on Tuesday morning after wardens of the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) stormed the prisoners' cells and assaulted prisoners.

Head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe told Ma'an that "prisoners announced a state of alert and set fire inside a room at Nafha prison” after Messada officers, the “takeover” unit of the IPS, reportedly stormed Section 2 of the prison and assaulted prisoners.

In response to a request for comment, an IPS spokesperson denied that prisoners were assaulted "in any way," and said that a peaceful transfer took place during "a routine operational search in one of Nafha prison cell blocks," when the Messada unit and the Nafha staff moved all of the prisoners into another cell block "in order to complete the mission."

Earlier this month, IPS forces raided Section 4 of the prison and injured several prisoners, “beating them violently and firing tear gas,” according to Qaraqe, who spoke to Ma’an at the time of the incident.

Qaraqe condemned the raid and described it as “vindictive and savage,” adding that IPS used pepper spray on Palestinian prisoners.

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