On Monday, September 6, six Palestinian prisoners escaped from Israel’s Gilboa Prison, a high-security prison near Nazareth in northern occupied Palestine.
According to reports, the six prisoners, most of them sentenced to life, belonged to the Islamic Jihad movement and one was a former commander in the Fatah party.
Israeli media and police informed that the six were imprisoned in Gilboa Prison in the same cell, and escaped through a tunnel that they had dug underneath their cell.
This is the opening of the tunnel through which six #Palestinian political prisoners managed last night to escape from the high-security Israeli prison of Gilboa in the north of occupied #Palestine. pic.twitter.com/JAFrb4jMrC
— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) September 6, 2021
“Overnight, we received a number of reports about suspicious figures in agricultural fields and from the prison service, which discovered very quickly that prisoners were missing from their cells and that six escaped,” a police spokesman told Israeli Kan Radio.
The Israeli occupation forces were searching for the prisoners and believed they might try to reach the occupied West Bank, Israeli-occupied territories, or the Jordanian border, Israeli media reported.
One of the prisoners has been identified as Zakaria Zubeidi, a former commander of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, who hails from the West Bank city of Jenin.
The others are Mahmoud Arda, Muhammed Arda, Yakub Qadri, Ayham Kamanji, and Munadel Infeiat, all belonging to the Islamic Jihad movement.
Of these six, Zubeidi and Infeiat were awaiting trial while the others had been sentenced for life.
An official of the Israel Prison Service described the incident as “a major security and intelligence failure.”
In a statement made shortly after the event, the Islamic Jihad hailed the escape as “heroic” and added that it will “shock the Israeli defense system.”
Hamas movement spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum praised the fugitives, declaring that “the escape proves the bravery of these prisoners, achieving freedom despite such strict security measures. It’s a heroic and impressive action.”
Featured image: Gilboa Prison near Nazareth in northern occupied Palestine, from where six Palestinian prisoners escaped through a tunnel they had dug underneath their cell. Photo: Times of Israel