Massive crackdown on organized crime amid threats to jailers

Israel's Prison Service calls in special forces amid mafia campaign to terrorize jailers. Scare campaign includes shooting, grenades.

Tzvi Lev,

Hadarim Prison
Hadarim Prison
Flash 90

The Israel Prison Service said it had started a massive operation spanning seven different prisons in an effort to target a mafia syndicate that has been terrorizing jailers.

Over the past week, numerous prisons have been attacked with gunfire and grenades in what authorities say is a campaign to scare jailers into upgrading the conditions of prisoners belonging to organized crime syndicates.

"We operated tonight with special forces in seven prisons against heads of criminal organizations and other criminals. Dozens of cells were searched and criminals were sent to solitary confinement," said Israel Prison Service Spokesperson Assad Liberti said.

"We are acting against criminals and heads of criminal organizations and harshening the steps. It's not convenient for them, we see the extreme and extreme response they are making towards our people and we are doing everything necessary to get the situation back to normal."

On Thursday morning, shots were fired at Ayalon Prison. While no injuries were reported, police say that that the incident is connected to a shooting attack at Hadarim Prison on Wednesday.

A security team conducting a patrol around the prison in a patrol vehicle heard the shooting and notified law enforcement officials.

The gunmen drove off immediately after the shooting, fleeing the scene.

"We are in a new situation in the Israel Prison Service, the heads of the criminal organizations are not resting, and we are also trying from inside the prison cells to strike, become stronger and direct criminal activity," said Commissioner Ofrah Klinger on Friday morning.

Following Thursday's shooting attack, police arrested two residents of the Israeli-Arab city of Jaljulia.

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