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High-profile jailbreak exposes holes in prison security, sparks copycat fears

17 3 1
06.09.2021

The escape of six inmates from Gilboa Prison on Monday is primarily a major security risk, putting several hardened criminals, including a major terrorist leader, back onto the streets of Israel, the West Bank or Jordan, but it is also a deeply humiliating moment for the Israel Prisons Service.

All of Israel’s security services were called in to assist with the manhunt: police established checkpoints throughout northern Israel, including near the Jordanian border, and sent additional officers to cities and towns in the area; the Israel Defense Forces also set up roadblocks around the northern West Bank and dispatched reconnaissance aircraft to help gather intelligence; and the Shin Bet security service is bringing to bear its technological capabilities and well-placed human intel sources.

The immediate concern in Israel is that the fugitives will attempt to carry out an attack, but there is also a worry that the longer the prisoners are on the run, the harder it will become to find them.

The six inmates are considered extremely dangerous — particularly Zakaria Zubeidi, a leader of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, who played a key role in the Second Intifada.

The other five were members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group. One was in prison for his role in murdering an Israeli teenager in the Itamar settlement in 2006; two brothers were serving life sentences for terror offenses; another was serving a life sentence for planning terror attacks; and the fifth was being held indefinitely under administrative detention.

In addition to the immediate threat posed by these six fugitives, highly public security-related events have a tendency to encourage further terrorist acts. Military officials refer to this concept by the Hebrew phrase Pigua rodef pigua,........

© The Times of Israel


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