A Palestinian official from Hamas claimed that prisoners held in an Israeli detention camp were beaten with clubs and shocked with stun devices on Sunday during a clash with guards transferring inmates to other facilities.
Israeli Prisons Service spokesman Ofer Lefler denied the claims, saying there was no violence, apart from prison staff firing a single round of tear gas to break up a passive demonstration.
The new Palestinian minister for prisoner affairs, Wasfi Kibha of Hamas, told reporters that inmates at Ketziot, a prison tent camp in the Negev, claimed guards used tear gas, water hoses and cattle prods against them while they protested their transfer to prisons in the central area, where they feared they would lose privileges and status they had built up at Ketziot.
Prisoners speaking to reporters on illicit mobile phones said one man was wounded by a rubber bullet and at least 16 others were injured in beatings. They said they did not witness the injuries being inflicted, although they smelled tear gas and heard what they said was the sound of rubber bullets being fired.