Israeli forces are searching for six Palestinian prisoners who managed to escape from a high-security facility in northern Israel early Monday morning.
The prisoners have escaped from Gilboa Prison, which is said to be one of the safest facilities in Israel. Such outbreaks are extremely rare.
“Overnight, we received a number of reports of suspicious figures on agricultural fields and from the prison service, who very quickly discovered that prisoners had been missing from their cells and that six had escaped,” police spokesman Eli Levy told Israeli Kan Radio.
Police, soldiers, and agents of the Israeli powerful internal security agency Shin Bet have arrived on the scene, officials said. Sniffer dogs were set up and checkpoints set up in the region around Gilboa.
The army said its forces were “prepared and dismantled” on the occupied West Bank as part of the operation.
Local media reports said the men, who may have shared the same prison cell, fled through a tunnel and apparently received outside help. The tunnel appears to have been excavated from a toilet inside the cell, from which the prisoners crucified themselves from the facility.
The detainees include a former Fatah party leader in the northern West Bank city of Jenin named Zakariye Zubeidi, 46, as well as five other Palestinian Islamic Jihad members who face life sentences for involvement in and attacks on Israel during the Palestinian intifada – or insurgency – of early 2000s.
The other people were recognized as: , Yaqoub Mahmoud Qadri, 49, Monadel Yacoub Nafe’at26,Mahmoud Abdullah Ardah, 46 Yaqoub Qassem, Ayham Nayef Kamamji, 35, and . At least four men are serving life sentences, according to locals. Media report.