Palestinian inmates at Ofer Prison clashed Saturday afternoon with guards and set tents and mattresses on fire. Ten guards and six prisoners have been reported lightly wounded in the clashes.
The inmates began hurling objects at the guards and torching their mattresses during a routine search of one of the facility’s quarters, in which prisoners are housed in tents. Large reinforcement troops were immediately alerted to the scene to restore order, and firemen arrived to extinguish the blaze.
The Israeli Prison Authority put into action an emergency plan and summoned guards from other prisons to help quell the outburst. In addition to this, an IDF force was deployed outside the prison to prevent Palestinians residing in the area from entering the facility.
Guards seperated the inmates who incited the clashes from the rest of the population, and they will stand disciplinary trial.
Prison Authority officials estimated that the riot was the result of a "class struggle" among the inmates, this following last week's release of some of the prison's more dominant inmates in the framework of Israel's gesture to the Palestinian Authority.
There are currently 1,100 Palestinian inmates incarcerated in Ofer Prison, which is located in the Ramallah area. Those imprisoned at the facility are generally serving time for relatively minor offenses. About 150 of the prison's inmates are housed in tents.
The facility was formerly used by the military, and in recent years was transferred to the authority of the IPA.
Ali Waked contributed to this report