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Maasiyahu Prison is a minimum-security Israel Prison Service prison specifically designated for illegal immigrants and others awaiting deportation (as well as others convicted of various minor-to-moderate crimes, including Israeli citizens). The nickname for the "Torani" (religious) wing of the prison is "Beis Medrash Maasiyahu" because of the wholesome religious environment and constant Torah study that occurs inside that section. The whole prison complex is located in the city of Ramle in the Central District of Israel.
On June 15, 2002, inmates at the prison declared a hunger strike to protest what they viewed as improper medical and legal treatment.
On February 11, 2004, public workers from the nearby town of Lod, who had not been paid in months, chained themselves to the gates of the prison in a public protest, demanding to be arrested so they could be fed the free prison food.
In March 2005, a wing of the prison was converted to house those detained while protesting Sharon's plan to withdraw from 21 settlements in Gaza and another 4 in the West Bank. The new wing is capable of housing 900 detainees.
Notable persons held at the prison throughout its history include:
- Jaggi Singh (1 day)
- Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane
- Aryeh Deri (22 months)
- Shlomo Benizri (started as 4 years, reduced to 2 years and 8 months)
- Moshe Katsav, former President of Israel and convicted rapist (7 years)
- Yishai Schlissel, convicted criminal who stabbed gays at the Jerusalem pride parade in 2005 and 2015 (life plus 31 years)
- Ehud Olmert, former Prime Minister of Israel, convicted in the Holyland Case of bribery while serving as the mayor of Jerusalem and later obstruction of justice (19 months)
- Jaggi Singh (18 January 2003). "I Was Nabbed, Beaten, and Deported:Jaggi Singh". Scoop:Independent News.
- Nigel Parry (8 January 2003). "Israeli Security Forces Kidnap Jaggi Singh". The Electronic Intifada.
- "Former Shas leader to leave prison". BBC News. July 11, 2002. Retrieved October 10, 2007.
- Raved, Ahiya; Meranda, Amnon (September 1, 2009). "Former Ministers Hirchson, Benizri Begin Prison Terms". Ynetnews. Retrieved 2009-09-01.
- "Israel ex-President Katsav begins jail term for rape". BBC News. BBC. 6 December 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- Chaim Levinson, Yaniv Kubovich, Israel Police to probe failure to monitor Jerusalem gay pride parade assailant, Haaretz, July 31, 2015
- Bob, Yonah Jeremy (February 15, 2016). "Olmert enters jail, becomes first prime minister to serve in prison". The Jerusalem Post.
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