(photo credit: AP)
Dozens of security prisoners were injured at Ketziot Prison Monday when some thousand inmates rioted during the morning hours, Israel Radio reported.
One inmate was critically hurt and another 14 were lightly hurt in the scuffle.
The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) also said that 15 wardens were lightly injured during the riots.
The violence broke out when guards began searching prisoners' bunks for contraband, IPS spokesman Ian Domnitz said. About 2,200 Palestinian prisoners are serving sentences for security offenses at the prison, Domnitz said.
Prisoners lit 10 tents on fire and attacked the guards, lightly wounding 15 of them, according to Domnitz. Prison officers moved in to quell the riot, injuring 15 prisoners, he added.
Four prisoners were hospitalized, with one critically wounded by a "non-lethal weapon," Domnitz said, but would not specify the type of weapon.
"The weapon was used in response to the endangerment of the lives of prison officers in the cell block," Domnitz said.
He announced that the guards put out the fires and restored order an hour after the riot began.
Following the riot, IPS Chief Warden Benny Kaniak said he would appoint a committee that would examine the circumstances leading to the violence.
In the West Bank, Nabil Abu Rdeneh, a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, accused Israel of conducting a "repression campaign" against the prisoners. He claimed the prison had used clubs, stun grenades and tear gas to disperse the crowd and said 250 people were injured.
Israel is holding 11,000 Palestinian prisoners for security offenses ranging from membership in terror organizations to planning and carrying out attacks against Israelis. Their release is a central Palestinian demand.
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