Terrorist prison break update – prison guards suspected of complicity

September 9, 2021 by Gil Tanenbaum - TPS
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Israeli security officials have decided to extend the holiday closure of the areas within the control of the P.A. until Saturday night because of the escape of six security prisoners from Israel’s Gilboa prison on the eve of the Rosh Hashanah holiday.

Rally in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip in solidarity with the 6 terrorists who escaped from the Gilboa prison in northern Israel. Khan Yunis, Sep 8, 2021. Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS

The closure was implemented, as usual, before the holiday and would have been lifted tomorrow had it not been for the current security situation.

The decision comes as disturbances have broken out at several Israeli prisons. The disturbances are described as a protest to moves being made due to the Gilboa prison break, including the transferring of prisoners. Israel’s prison service has cited the way in which the escapees were able to work together for a long time as necessitating such prisoner transfers. This is in order to prevent the prisoners from continuing to work together in planning escapes, and other violent acts.

Prisoners affiliated with the Islamic Jihad set fires in their cells and burned mattresses in the Ketziot and Ramon prisons. They claim to be protesting plans to transfer some of them to other prisons. A prisoner at Gilboa prison through boiling water on a guard there.

Opposition to the mobilization of security prisoners, which began following the escape of terrorists, is escalating. Leaders of the security prisoners at the jails stated, that “any wing of the Islamic Jihad [prisoners] that the IPS will try to evacuate will be set on fire.” The prison service responded that they are prepared for any contingency and that they do not let the prisoners set the agenda.

About 170 prisoners have already been moved around. The prisons keep the terrorists from Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and other organizations separate from one another. This is done out of fear that people from different groups will attack one another because they all have longstanding feuds among them.

Some groups have been calling on the Arab public to assist the escapees in any way that they can and to try and interfere with the current manhunt.

Hamas actually issued a statement warning Israel not to continue with what it called, “retaliatory measures that violate prisoners’ rights.” Hamas said that Israel is responsible for their prisoners’ welfare and that they, “will not remain silent about the violation of their rights and we will not leave the prisoners alone in the battle.”

Meanwhile, the Israeli police reportedly now believe that some prison guards may have aided in the escape. Two Israel Prisons Service officials are expected to be questioned by the police tomorrow under caution. Under caution, in Israel, is when someone is questioned as a suspect and is informed of his rights ahead of time.

The investigation is being conducted by the unit Lahav 433, which is known for handling serious criminal investigations, such as those that involve cabinet ministers.

There are also reports of guards who failed in their duties, behaving irresponsibly, and even sleeping on the job. The prisoners apparently knew of this behaviour and how to use it to their advantage.

Ahead of the end of the Rosh Hashana holiday at sundown yesterday, the Prime Minister undertook a meeting with senior Israeli security officials. Naftali Bennett is currently meeting with The Ministers of Defence and Internal Security, the IDF Chief of Staff, the National Police Commissioner, the head of the Israel Prison Services, the head of the General Security Services, among others.

On the issue of riots at other prisons in the wake of the escape, and the possibility that it will motivate a renewed round of violence, Bennett said, “Israel is prepared for any scenario.”

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