At least 10 Israeli officers who were caught on film viciously beating Palestinian prisoners have faced no repercussions.
Israeli media reports have claimed that only four of the Israeli officers were questioned and none were arrested following the incident, which had been described as one of the most violent known incidents in an Israeli prison.
The incident took place on 24 March 2019, in Ketziot Prison, which was holding several dozen members of Hamas at the time.
The video footage appeared to show 55 Palestinian prisoners restrained on the floor of the prison, with Israeli officers beating them with batons, kicking and punching them. They had ordered the prisoners not to move or talk for a period of several hours.
Israeli media has claimed that an “unknown” Hamas prisoner stabbed two officers. An Israeli police unit, which ran the investigation into the officers, said this “unknown offender” caused an escalation in the violence – before it closed the probe.
When the incident took place, the prison service said that the prison officers were attempting to restore order after a riot that took place after the stabbings.
However, the footage shows prison guards attacking the prisoners without provocation, without evidence of a riot.
Amir Salum, 26, from Palestinian refugee camp Shofat in East Jerusalem, was an inmate in the prison at the time. He told reporters that the situation escalated for no reason.
Salum said that officers ordered prisoners to move from prison wing four to wing three, and during this move someone shouted “stabbing, stabbing”, before guards started shooting live ammunition, causing the inmates to flee.
The former prisoner said that after these prisoners were put in restraints, which they did not resist, and were then subjected to beatings with batons. He said that he was taken to receive medical treatment after being severely injured but was beaten further by officers on the way to the treatment centre.
Another prisoner said he was beaten with an iron bar by masked guards as he lay on the floor. He said he had a chronic illness, but they continued beating him.
Israeli police said they were unable to identify all of the officers involved – despite it being captured on video. The prisoners said they could identify their attackers but were ignored.