Israel captures 4 of 6 Palestinian fugitives who escaped from prison
After the Intifada, Mr. Zubeidi helped run the Freedom Theater in his hometown, Jenin, in the northern West Bank. But he was arrested again in 2019 on charges of helping orchestrate attacks on Israeli settlers.
The six fellow inmates escaped from Gilboa Prison around 1:30 a.m. Monday, after removing some of the floor from the shower stall and lowering themselves into a cavity that runs under the prison. They then crawled nearly 32 meters under two walls, two barbed wire fences and a pack of sniffer dogs, escaping detection by 40 prison guards.
The fugitives emerged through a hole in the ground just meters from the east wall of the prison, before setting out on foot through nearby fields. Their absence was confirmed around 3:30 a.m., after civilians in the area reported suspicious figures moving near the prison, prompting a call to the prison.
Trying to prevent a second escape, Israeli officials transferred 80 other prisoners from Gilboa to other prisons, a move that sparked riots in some of those prisons.
The escape also sparked several protests across the West Bank, as Palestinians expressed solidarity with those on the run. About 5,000 Palestinians are held in Israeli jails, mainly for terrorism. Many Palestinians see them as heroes in the struggle for Palestinian sovereignty.
After the first two arrests on Friday night, rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip, where Islamic Jihad has a stronghold. No injuries were reported and it was not immediately clear whether the launches were linked to the arrests.
In a separate episode earlier today, a Palestinian doctor, Hazem al-Julani, attempted to stab an Israeli policeman in the Old City of Jerusalem, prompting the police to shoot and kill him. He was the last of at least 60 Palestinians killed since the start of the year, mostly by Israeli security agents, according to a tally by rights group B’Tselem.
Jonathan rosen contributed reports.