Israeli media revealed exciting and new details about the escape plan of six Palestinian prisoners from Gilboa prison, an incident that shocked Israeli officials, especially since the escape of Palestinian prisoners is one of the most guarded Israeli prisons.
On Monday, the Israeli Prison Service announced that 6 prisoners had escaped, while the police said that, in cooperation with the security services and the military establishment, they had begun an “inspection and search operation for the prisoners.”
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.
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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.
The escape of Palestinian prisoners
The commander of the Israeli Prison Service in the northern region, Arik Yaakov, said that the fugitives 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.
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.
Read also: “Acting has become a reality.” A Palestinian series produced in 2014 depicted exactly what happened in Gilboa Prison (video)
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.
Read also: Zakaria al-Zubaidi.. One of the heroes of the “Gilboa Tunnel” survived the assassination 4 times and the occupation suffered the calamities
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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