The escape of the 6 Palestinian prisoners from the high-security Gilboa prison dazzled the world and shocked the occupation and its apparatuses, as this operation is a blow to the alleged Israeli security myth and the Mossad apparatus.
It is noteworthy that the escape of six prisoners from the Israeli Gilboa prison was not the first attempt in which the Palestinian prisoners tried to get rid of the darkness of their cells.
The process brought back to the imagination of the Palestinians a series of attempts that culminated in successes and failures over the past years.
Read also: “Acting has become a reality.” A Palestinian series produced in 2014 depicted exactly what happened in Gilboa Prison (video)
However, all these attempts were and still constitute evidence in the minds of the Palestinians of breaking the impossible and the superiority of the will, no matter how difficult the difficulties may be.
On the other hand, the occupation considers every similar operation a breach of the security rings that it is proud of in all forums.
In this context, a report by the “Al-Araby Al-Jadeed” website reviewed the most prominent operations carried out by Palestinian prisoners over several years:
Shata prison 1958
About 190 Palestinian prisoners had a confrontation with the jailers in Shata prison, 11 prisoners were martyred, and two Israeli warders were killed, while 77 prisoners managed to free themselves.
Three attempts by the prisoner Hamza Younis
The prisoner Hamza Younes managed to escape from prison three times at varying intervals from several prisons, the first of which was in 1964 when he managed to escape from Ashkelon prison, his second experience was by escaping from an Israeli hospital in 1967, and his third experiences were from Ramle prison in 1971.
Ramallah Prison 1969
The prisoner, Mahmoud Abdullah Hammad, got rid of his prison during his transfer from one prison to another in 1969, and was hunted for nine months before moving to Jordan.
The Great Salvation from Gaza Prison 1987
Six prisoners managed to cut the bars of the prison bathroom window, and the mastermind of the operation was the martyr Misbah al-Suri.
Nafha prison in 1987
The prisoner Khalil Masoud al-Ra’i from the Zaytoun neighborhood in Gaza, along with his two companions, Shawqi Abu Nasira and Kamal Abd al-Nabi, succeeded in escaping from Nafha prison, but they were re-arrested after eight days while they were trying to leave for Egypt.
The prisoner Omar Al-Nayef was liberated in 1990
The prisoner Omar Al-Nayef from Jenin managed to escape from prison when he was transferred for treatment to a hospital in Bethlehem after he went on a hunger strike, four years after his arrest.
Then he succeeded in leaving for Jordan and then to Bulgaria in 1994, and there he was assassinated inside the Palestinian embassy building in 2016.
The first liberation from captivity by digging a tunnel in Kfar Yona prison 1996
Ghassan Mahdawi and his companion Tawfiq Al-Zaben succeeded in digging an 11-meter tunnel, but the occupation re-arrested Mahdawi the following year, while Al-Zaben was arrested in 2000.
1996 Escape from Ashkelon Prison
Sixteen prisoners managed to dig a tunnel 17 meters deep underground, but the blockage of the sewage network raised the suspicions of the prison administration, and it conducted an inspection, which thwarted the operation.
Shata Prison 1998
A number of prisoners, most notably Abdel Hakim Hanini, Abbas Shabana and Ibrahim Shalash, succeeded in digging an underground tunnel from inside the cell to outside the prison, but they were surprised to discover police dogs for them, so they were arrested again.
Gilboa Prison 2021
Six prisoners in Gilboa Prison, the most heavily guarded of the occupation, succeeded in digging a tunnel tens of meters long inside the prison, and were able to free themselves in an operation that the Palestinians called the “Freedom Tunnel.”
Palestinian prisoners escape plan
The Times of Israel said that a day before the plan was implemented, Zakaria al-Zubaidi, the eldest prisoner of the fugitive group, requested to be transferred to the cell where the other five prisoners are, according to Channel 12 news, adding that the request was approved without raising. No questions.
The Israeli Prison Service usually separates prisoners based on their organizational affiliation, but Israel did not have any intelligence about an escape plan, according to the channel.
– homeland. Tweeting outside the flock (@watan_usa) September 7, 2021
The commander of the Israeli Prison Service in the northern region, Arik Yaakov, said that the fugitives had apparently dug a tunnel in the floor of their cell’s toilet to reach the basements formed as a result of the prison’s construction.
Read also: A Lebanese broadcaster with a fiery introduction: “The first freedom tunnel appeared from behind the jailer’s wall, and the last one entered the rear of the occupation.”
The “Times of Israel” indicates that the method of the escape of Palestinian prisoners is very similar to a plan that appeared in a television program broadcast in Ramadan in 2014 on the Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa TV, and this plot included the escape of six Palestinian prisoners from an Israeli prison from a tunnel they dug from the bathroom of their cell.
They dug for months
The Israeli website reported that Al-Zubaidi, a former commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, was re-arrested in 2019 and was in prison during his trial in connection with about 20 charges including attempted murder.
The remaining prisoners belong to the “Islamic Jihad” movement, and four of them were imprisoned for life in connection with attacks against Israelis.
Channel 12 said that inmates in the cell to which al-Zubaidi was transferred had been surreptitiously digging in the bathroom for weeks or months before carrying out the operation, and had hidden the hole under a floorboard.
They did not have to dig far underground, because the prison was supported by foundations, and they only needed to crawl under these foundations until they came to an area behind the fence, and then crawled out through a hole there.
Prison design was online
The channel notes that the prisoners may have been able to escape by taking advantage of an engineering design for Gilboa prison that was available online on the website of the architectural firm that designed the site, media outlets reported Monday night.
The hole from which the group came out of the prison was directly below a watchtower, but the guard was asleep and did not notice that they were escaping, according to the “Times of Israel” website.
Investigators into the Palestinian prisoner escape case believe that after leaving the prison, the escapees quickly changed their clothes before sprinting away from the prison where a car was waiting for them. Channel 12 reported that the group dispersed there, and not all of the prisoners entered the car.
At some point before they got to the car, a taxi driver spotted some of them at a nearby gas station and called the police.
The channel suggested that the fugitives would use smuggled mobile phones, because despite the operation of a new system in the prison that prevents the use of smuggled mobile phones by inmates, it was never activated.
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