Guard injured in clashes following prisoner's death

Forces from across the country reportedly raided the facility, managing to suppress the unrest that followed the death of the prisoner.

Ofer Prison (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Ofer Prison
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
An officer was wounded as clashes erupted at the Ofer Incarceration Facility following the death of a Fatah member earlier in the day, the Prisons Authority reported on Wednesday night.

According to the Prisons Authority, an unnamed member of the Palestinian Authority's ruling Fatah faction collapsed in his cell in Incarceration Facility 385, located near Ramallah in the West Bank. 

An MDA Advanced Life Support Ambulance (ALSA) and the prison's medical unit reportedly failed to resuscitate the 45-year-old. The man was chronically ill, according to the authority. An investigation has been opened into the circumstances surrounding his death.

Imprisoned in April 2002, the man was sentenced to 18 years and 8 months in military prison for harming state security, placing an explosive device and illegal residence in Israeli territory, the Prisons Authority said. 

The incarceration facility was transferred from the IDF's control to the Prison's Authority in 2006. 

Clashes erupted following the announcement of the prisoner's death, with an object being hurled toward an officer, injuring him in the head. The guard was reportedly treated on the scene and is in light condition. 

According to the authority, forces from across the country raided the facility, managing to suppress the unrest that followed the death of the prisoner.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Security Cabinet approved a motion, raised by Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, which stated that the bodies of Palestinian attackers would not be returned to their families.

While Israel's policy until now has only allowed the state to hold onto the bodies of Hamas members, Gantz's proposal allows the government to hold the body of any Palestinian viewed as an attacker, regardless of association with a militant faction.

The policy, according to Gantz, is designed to deter future attackers and encourage Hamas to release Israeli prisoners and the bodies of IDF soldiers killed in action in 2014.

According to Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel - the cabinet's decision is "extremely problematic and is driven clearly by motivations for vengeance."

Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.