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Sunday, September 19, 2021 

All 6 escapees from Gilboa have been recaptured

The first 4 convicted terrorists were rearrested last week, and now, the last 2 have been recaptured as well:
The last two remaining prisoners who escaped from Gilboa Prison earlier this month, Munadil Nafayat and Iham Kahamji, were arrested on Saturday night by Israeli forces in Jenin, putting an end to a nearly two-week-long manhunt.

The arrest was made by the IDF, Shin Bet and police special forces based on intelligence from the Shin Bet. Israeli forces surrounded the house where the prisoners were hiding and the two prisoners surrendered without any struggle and were transferred to the Shin Bet for questioning. Two Palestinians who helped the two prisoners were also arrested by Israeli forces.

[...] Four of the six prisoners who escaped from Gilboa Prison, Zakaria Zubeidi, Mahmoud Ardah, Mohammed Qadri and Mohammed Ardah, were captured by security forces in and near Nazareth last weekend.
It's still unclear how this was able to occur so easily in the past 2 weeks. It's very fortunate for now that the convicted terrorists were recaptured before any potential violence and other disasters could've occurred. But this is still a terrible stain on the country's security, and for now, it certainly doesn't reflect well on Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid's farcical government.

Update: here's an op-ed making a point that this affair's not over:
The escape by the six men exposed a series of failures at the prison, including that the IPS didn’t learn lessons from a previous escape attempt at the prison, as well as several other major issues. These include sleeping guards, unmanned watchtowers due to a shortage of staff and the sense of boldness security prisoners feel vis-à-vis the guards.

The sense of boldness by security prisoners is a major issue that was already examined in a 2018 special committee report. “In the security cell blocks, terrorist organizations have de facto autonomy,” the report found.

Four years later, nothing has changed.

Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev has said there will be a commission of inquiry into the escape, the worst jailbreak in Israel’s history. But it can’t be like the one in 2018 or the tragedy at Mount Meron this past April, when 45 worshipers were trampled to death, and the state commission of inquiry only called its first witness a month ago.

The inquiry into the Gilboa Prison break has to dig through all the dirt, not with a spoon but a Caterpillar D9 armored bulldozer, and bulldoze through all the other issues that have yet to see the light. It also needs to be as free as it can from political pressure because the security of the country is at stake.

Along with a commission investigating how the prisoners escaped, the Defense Ministry, IDF and Israel Police need to fix the holes in the West Bank fence. It cannot be that people, let alone high-security fugitives, are able to cross in and out of Israel through the numerous holes in the fence.
Absolutely valid issues there. But something tells me even an inquiry here could evaporate soon enough.

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