Six Palestinians allegedly belonging to different militant organizations have escaped from a high-security prison in Israel.
A massive search operation has been launched by Israeli forces including police, army, special forces and sniffer dogs.
The former head of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades Zakaria Zubeidi is also among the prisoners who broke out, the Israel Prison Service confirmed in a statement. They sneaked through a narrow tunnel dug under a sink.
The Israeli army said that troops were deployed for arrest of the suspects in the West Bank.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett termed it a serious incident and said he was constantly receiving the updates regarding the incident.
The inmates at Gilboa Prison took advantage of an empty space under the cell. The commander of the Northern District of the Prison Service said that one of the first findings of the incident was that the escape took place due to a fault in a structure built on stilts during the second intifada.
He said, “The incident took place because of accurate and detailed planning. it is likely that there was an outside assistance.”
The district commander added that at this stage all aid forces had been called in to locate the prisoners. He emphasized that currently the effort was focused on intelligence searches and operational activities in cooperation with the GSS. “Of course, we have something to research and learn so that such an event does not happen again,” he added.
On July 2 this year, At least 89 Palestinians were wounded, while hundreds others felt suffocation as a result of tear-gas shells and rubber-coated metal bullets fired by Israeli army during protests condemning the illegal Jewish settlements in areas of the occupied West Bank.