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Another attempt to stir controversy? Torn Quran pages Photo: Tsafrir Abayov
Another attempt to stir controversy? Torn Quran pages Photo: Tsafrir Abayov

'Palestinian prisoner destroyed Quran'

Prison Service says female security prisoner goes on rampage during body search, tosses Quran pages toward toilet

By Raanan Ben-Zur
Published: 06.19.05, 22:13 / Israel News

ASHKELON - A female Palestinian security prisoner in Ashkelon’s Shikma Prison tore up pages from a copy of the Quran and threw them toward the toilet during a routine search Sunday, the Israel Prison Service said.

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The 22-year-old detainee from a village near Hebron is an Islamic Jihad member who was arrested three months ago in suspicion of hostile terror activity.


She resisted a routine search by a female guard, and then took out torn Quran pages from her skirt and hurled them toward the toilet.


The guard handed the torn Quran pages to the prison’s director, and Prison Service officials said she showed heightened sensitivity to the holy Islamic book.


“Security prisoners are permitted to keep Qurans, and the Prison Service provides them with the books, but tearing pages out of the book and throwing them in the bathroom is blasphemy and hinders the prisoners’ right to conduct religious rites,” a Prison Service official said.


The Palestinian prisoner was eventually transferred to the Hasharon Prison as planned.


A month ago Palestinian security prisoners detained in the Megiddo Prison claimed prison guards tore up pages from Quran copies during searches of their cells.


Prisoners apologize


The incident, which was compared to reports of Qurans that had allegedly been destroyed at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, evoked fear of possible prisoner riots.


However, a special investigative committee found the prisoners themselves had torn the Quran copies in an attempt to stir controversy.


According to the Prison Service, prisoner representatives apologized for the incident, saying it was a Hamas-affiliated minority that carried out the act.


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