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Gilboa prisoners are caught, but story isn’t over – analysis

CM 19/09/2021


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It took two weeks, but all six Palestinian high-security prisoners who dug themselves out of Gilboa Prison are back behind bars. The story, however, is far from over.
The arrest of Munadil Nafayat and Iham Kahamji by the Shin Bet internal security forces, Israel Police’s YAMAM unit, and IDF troops early Sunday morning in the West Bank city of Jenin went almost according to the book.
Troops spread out across Jenin in an attempt to distract armed Palestinians while a small force went to the safe house where the two men were known to be.

The Israel Police said the two men hid together in a house in Jenin over the past several days. After the Shin Bet received intelligence confirming their location, troops surrounded the building until Nafayat and Kahamji surrendered without a fight.
According to a report in Haaretz, the two men made a series of mistakes that led Israel to locate them, including calling relatives, which allowed security forces to find their location.

 Israeli soldiers guard along a fence leading to the West Bank, as part of search efforts to capture six Palestinian men who had escaped from Gilboa prison earlier this week, September 9, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD) Israeli soldiers guard along a fence leading to the West Bank, as part of search efforts to capture six Palestinian men who had escaped from Gilboa prison earlier this week, September 9, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD)

Why the two men decided to hide in a safe house in the east of the city of Jenin and not the refugee camp is not known, but it likely saved Israeli security forces from engaging in a large gun battle during the arrest.
The fact that all six fugitives were recaptured alive has allowed Israel to breathe a sigh of relief that the security situation didn’t deteriorate even further.
But it’s not over. The Israel Prisons Service needs to hold an in-depth inquiry into how this debacle occurred in the first place. It’s not as if it happened out of the blue.
The escape by the six men exposed a series of failures at the prison, including the fact 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. That report found that “in the security cell blocks, terror organizations have de facto autonomy.”
Four years later, nothing has changed.
Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev has stated that there will be a commission of inquiry into the escape, the worst jailbreak in Israel’s history. But it can’t be like the 2018 commission or tragedy at Mount Meron where 45 worshipers were trampled to death last April, with the state inquiry only calling 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 D9, 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, Israel’s 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.
Nafayat and Kahamji crossed from Israel into the West Bank and could have very likely crossed back into Israel if they had wanted to.
The issue of the holes in the fence is not a new phenomenon.
Thousands of Palestinians cross into Israel on a daily basis through the holes that are cut along various sections of the security barrier. It’s such a popular way for Palestinians to get into Israel that some even upload TikTok videos showing themselves making their way through the holes.
While many cross in order to work inside Israel, several Palestinians who have illegally crossed into Israel in the past have carried out deadly attacks.
This issue needs to be fixed. Unlike the warnings about the prison break, this cannot be ignored.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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CM

The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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