By Qays Abu Samra
Palestinian inmates at the Israel-run Ofer Prison in the occupied West Bank have vowed to “escalate” their protest activities following an assault by prison guards.
In a press statement released Monday, inmates called on international rights groups “to shoulder their humanitarian, moral and legal obligations and work towards halting Israel’s mistreatment of prisoners”.
The statement was reportedly signed by inmates linked to leading Palestinian political factions, including Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
In the statement, inmates refrained from saying how exactly they planned to escalate protest activities.
On Monday, Israeli forces -- reportedly members of Israel’s special Metsada Force -- stormed a cellblock in Ofer Prison, where they reportedly assaulted Palestinian inmates with teargas, leaving scores of the latter injured.
Currently home to an estimated 1,200 Palestinian detainees, Ofer Prison is located southwest of Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority’s administrative capital in the West Bank.
According to Palestinian figures, more than 6,000 Palestinians -- including dozens of women, scores of minors and at least six lawmakers -- are currently being held in Israeli prisons.