Cover-up? Arab prisoners held guards hostage for hours in riot: report

“The Prison Service can try to cover it up, but this serious incident really happened,” said a guard who was witness to the attack.

By World Israel News Staff

After a prominent criminal was denied leave from prison to attend his father’s funeral, his associates rioted in a correctional facility in Israel, holding guards hostage for hours and threatening to stab them.

According to a Yediot Ahronot report, the incident took place at Rimonim Prison in central Israel several months ago, but it was not acknowledged by authorities until recently.

Several guards spoke to the outlet on the condition of anonymity, confirming that the hostage-taking occurred and that the prison authorities granted a concession in order to end the crisis.

The incident began after the father of Uday Jerushi, a notorious Arab-Israeli organized crime boss, was shot and killed. Jerushi, who is incarcerated at Rimonim Prison in central Israel, was denied permission to leave the facility to attend the funeral.

Chaos ensued shortly after he learned of the decision. Jerushi and about 30 of his associates reportedly began rioting in their wing.

Then, Jerushi and his affiliates approached two guards while brandishing improvised stabbing devices, taking the pair hostage and threatening to harm them should the authorities not reverse their decision.

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The guards were released two hours later, after a senior officer at the prison agreed to allow Jerushi to watch his father’s funeral via a Zoom broadcast.

The Prison Service launched an investigation into the incident, but the report downplayed the grave nature of the event and minimized failures on the part of the authorities, a Shin Bet employee told Yediot Ahronot.

“The Prison Service can try to cover it up, but this serious incident really happened,” a guard who was a witness to the attack told Yediot Ahronot.

“For long hours, the guards who were there feared for their lives and felt that they had no protection. Instead of the Prison Service learning lessons, they are busy denying [reality].”

Another guard confirmed to the outlet that “the investigation was designed to gloss over the incident, not to find out what really happened.”