Israel recaptured final Palestinian escapees

Israel recaptures final Palestinian escapees
Gilboa Prison, where the inmates escaped from. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: Israel says it has recaptured the final two of six Palestinians who tunnelled out of a high-security jail almost two weeks ago.

The two latest detainees were arrested after being surrounded by security forces in the West Bank city of Jenin, Israel’s Defense Forces said. Both are members of the militant group Islamic Jihad.

The other four of the group were captured last week.

An inquiry is being launched into the prison break, which sparked celebrations among Palestinians.

There were clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces in Jenin early on Sunday, but Israeli police said the two escapees were recaptured without resistance.

One of the men’s fathers told the Associated Press news agency that his son agreed to surrender “in order not to endanger the house owners”.

Naftali Bennett, Israel’s Prime Minister, said the operation to recapture the men was “impressive, sophisticated and speedy”, adding “what went wrong can be repaired”.

The escape has proven embarrassing for Israel’s prison service, with the country’s media pointing to a number of security failings.

The six-man group is thought to have spent months digging a tunnel in the floor of their shared cell in Gilboa prison, slipping past a sleeping guard and emerging through a hole on the other side of the prison walls on 6 September.

A lawyer for one of the escaped men said her client used a kettle handle, spoons and plates to dig out of the facility. Spoons have since become a common sight at pro-Palestinian protests.

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