Israeli guard stabbed by Hamas inmate at Nafha Prison

The attack follows a media campaign being waged in the past couple of days by Hamas-affiliated media outlets regarding the conditions of female Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

By Tobias Siegal, World Israel News

An Israeli prison guard was stabbed by a Hamas prisoner at the Nafha Prison in southern Israel on Monday evening, a statement issued by the Israel Prison Service (IPS) read.

The guard was lightly injured and was evacuated to the prison infirmary for medical treatment.

The incident reportedly led to a riot among other prisoners at the prison’s security wing, which is primarily used for convicted Hamas terrorists.

“This is a serious incident,” IPS official Moshe Ohaion told Hebrew language media, adding that the circumstances that allowed the incident to take place will be investigated.

The prisoner behind the attack was identified as Yossef al-Mabkhukh, 29, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for launching rockets, installing explosives and digging offensive tunnels during the 2008 and 2012 military operation in Gaza (Operations Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense). He has been imprisoned in Israel since February 2019.

Al-Mabkhukh was returning from the prison yard toward his wing along with other prisoners, when he attacked the guard using an improvised blade made with a spoon, injuring the guard’s arms and head. Luckily, the guard managed to hold back his assailant, “preventing a serious injury thanks to his fast response,” Ohaion said.

Al-Mabkhukh was placed in solitary confinement following the incident.

“The assumption is that Hamas prisoners, like all security prisoners, will try to carry out a stabbing attack against a guard at any given moment,” Ohaion explained, adding that the investigation is looking into the possible involvement of Hamas in the attack.

The attack follows a media campaign being waged in the past couple of days by Hamas-affiliated media outlets regarding the conditions of female Palestinian prisoners in Israel. The campaign claims that Israeli prison guards systematically abuse female prisoners by not allowing them to shower, physically assaulting them and tearing off their hijabs – baseless claims that have been refuted before, according to the IPS.

In a statement issued after the attack, Hamas praised al-Mabkhukh and called his actions “a natural response to the escalation against [female] Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons.”

Meanwhile, photos released by al-Mabkhukh’s family and shared by Hebrew language media showed candy being handed out to visitors at the family home “in honor” of the attack carried out by al-Mabkhukh.

Palestinian factions have called on the public to hold a “day of rage” on Friday throughout Judea and Samaria in order to support Palestinian prisoners and have encouraged the young to confront IDF troops, according to the Hebrew-daily Ynet.

The Nafha Prison was the site of a violent protest that erupted two years ago over the issue of conducting surprise searches in prisoners’ cells, which was done as part of a broader effort to foil terror attacks being planned and carried out from within the prison. The protest led to riots in other prisons across the country, with some 300 inmates taking part in riots that followed at the Ofer Prison.