Israeli authorities on Sunday recaptured the last two of six Palestinian prisoners who had escaped from Gilboa prison in the eastern district of Jenin city two weeks ago.
“The chase ended successfully in a joint operation of the IDF, the Public Security Service and the Special Police Forces tonight in the city of Jenin. The two terrorists who escaped from the prison were arrested,” Israeli army spokesman Avichay Adraee said.
Local Palestinian media reported that clashes had erupted in the city but an Israeli police spokesperson said both prisoners were recaptured without resistance.
The father of one of the escaped prisoners told the Associated Press that his son called him when Israeli troops surrounded the house in which they were taking refuge. The son said he would surrender “in order not to endanger the house owners.”
Six Palestinian inmates had escaped the maximum-security Israeli prison through a tunnel dug under a sink earlier this month. According to reports, the escape was facilitated using tools like a spoon.
The Gilboa prison in northern Israel is a high-security facility
The jailbreak exposed severe security flaws and prompted Israel to launch a massive manhunt in the occupied West Bank. Authorities deployed drones, set up road checkpoints and sent troops into the region.
The other four men were recaptured last week.
While five prisoners were from the Islamic Jihad militant group, the sixth was a member of President Mahmoud Abbas’ secular Fatah group.
see/rs (Reuters, AP, AFP)