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Gantz tells troops not to let hunt for fugitives harm other Palestinians

14 9 23

Defense Minister Benny Gantz called for Israel’s security forces to avoid unnecessarily punishing innocent Palestinians during the ongoing manhunt for six fugitives who broke out of prison earlier this week, while promising that Israel would eventually catch the escapees.

“We are continuing our activities in the field, but at the same time we must understand that these are six men out of millions who live here,” Gantz said, speaking from a lookout in the northern West Bank following a meeting nearby with the military officers leading the search.

“We must be able to deal with these six and their helpers without interfering with the other things in balance in the area,” he said.

The prison break has sparked large, nightly demonstrations throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem, some of them violent, and raised concerns of renewed conflict in the Gaza Strip. Soldiers and police officers were put on high alert throughout Israel and the West Bank over fears of widespread violence on Friday after the Hamas terror group declared a “day of rage” in solidarity with the six Palestinian security prisoners.

“I hope that today will pass quietly, but either way the IDF is prepared for any development in any location,” Gantz said.

The defense minister made his remarks as the manhunt for the six fugitives entered its fifth day, after the men escaped Gilboa Prison in northern Israel in one of the worst prison breaks in the country’s history. Israeli forces have scrambled to........

© The Times of Israel

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