• Home
  • keyboard_arrow_right Israel News
  • keyboard_arrow_right Search continues for two remaining Gilboa Prison fugitives

Israel News

Search continues for two remaining Gilboa Prison fugitives

CM 11/09/2021

share close
Four of the fugitives who escaped from Gilboa Prison last week were recaptured in northern Israel over the weekend by the Israel Police Counterterrorism Unit.
Zakaria Zubeidi and Mahmoud Ardah were found in a parking lot in the village of Umm el-Ghanam early on Saturday, hours after Yakoub Mohammed Qadri and Mohammed Ardah were located in Nazareth on Friday night.
Munadil Nafayat and Iham Kahamji remain at large.
Police said that Zubeidi and Ardah were found hiding under the trailer of a truck.
Shortly after the arrest of Qadri and Mohammed Ardah, thousands of Palestinians violently protested across the West Bank and clashed with IDF troops. A rocket was also launched from the Gaza Strip and was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. The IDF responded with an airstrike against Hamas military infrastructure.
According to reports, Qadri and Mohammed Ardah were located after a Nazareth resident told police that he had seen two men digging through trash searching for food.
The family of the person who reportedly told police about the fugitives has received death threats and subsequently denied he gave the tip-off, according to Ynet.
“I saw them, they looked scared, hungry and humiliated,” an Umm el-Ghanam resident told Ynet. “A helicopter and a drone flew overhead all night long, we didn’t get any sleep because of the noise in the village.”
Another resident told Ynet that Zubeidi and Ardah “did not resist” when officers arrested them.
In addition to the help of citizens, the fugitives were captured through the efforts by the police’s Counterterrorism Unit, as well as IDF trackers from the Mirol Reserve Unit.
The unit, which was formed following the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers in 2014, managed to identify the footprints of the fugitives, and a packet of cigarettes and a can of soda at around 10:30 p.m. They then identified the route that Zubeidi and Ardah took to the truck parking lot in Umm el-Ghanam.
“We are doing everything to locate the escaped prisoners,” Sgt. First Class (res.) Roi Simon, the head of a tracking unit, was quoted as saying. “The unit has not ceased its work and is continuing in the effort until all the escaped terrorists are caught.”
Defense establishment sources speculated on Saturday that it is increasingly likely the two remaining escapees have split up, according to Israeli media. One of the two may still be in Israel, while the other could have crossed into the West Bank, defense officials said.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi took part in the situational assessment on Saturday night along with other security officials regarding the ongoing manhunt for the two remaining prisoners who remain at large.
“The activity has been determined and consistent, and the key to success is smooth and quiet cooperation between all those involved,” Bennett said, adding that “rapid information sharing and precise division of tasks between security forces should continue, allowing maximum coverage of the area.”
He also expressed his appreciation to the citizens who reported the location of the terrorists to local security forces, and called on the public to continue to show responsibility, saying that “high vigilance must be maintained and cooperation must continue until the operation is completed.”
Bennett, who is religiously observant, nevertheless met with police and military officials for a situational assessment in northern Israel shortly after Zubeidi was caught on the morning of Shabbat. 
Kohavi said that the cooperation between security bodies and their professionalism “is the key to locating the terrorists, as it’s been proven in recent days.” 
The chief of staff added that the cooperation between the bodies “will continue until every terrorist who escaped is caught,” he stressed that “this is an event that has regional influences and we are preparing for all scenarios.”
He said that there were thousands of troops in the field and in intelligence units who are working to capture the two remaining fugitives. 
“We will do whatever is required, with all our might, using advanced capabilities, technology, intelligence and special forces.”
Two prisoners that escaped from Gilboa prison caught in Nazareth (Video Credit: Telegram Security News)
Five of the escapees – Munadil Nafayat, Iham Kahamji, Yakoub Mohammed Qadri and brothers Mahmoud and Mohammed Ardah – were identified as members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and from the Jenin area.
The sixth, Zakaria Zubeidi, was a prominent leader in Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades during the Second Intifada. He was later granted an amnesty but was arrested again in 2019.
They escaped from Gilboa Prison, some 30 km. away, on Monday. Though security forces initially thought that they were being helped following their escape, it is now believed that the fugitives did not have any outside assistance.
Following their arrest, they were transferred to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) for additional questioning. The  four men were taken to Nazareth District Court Saturday night and had their detention extended by nine days. The Palestinian Prisoners Association said that they were not allowed to meet with their lawyers.
Shortly after the arrest of Qadri and Mohammed Ardah, thousands of Palestinians violently protested across the West Bank and clashed with IDF troops throughout the day. A rocket was also launched from the Gaza Strip and was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. The IDF responded with an airstrike against a Hamas military infrastructure.
Hamas Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said that “the arrest of the heroic prisoners is another round in the open and ongoing battle with the occupation. What happened strengthens the Palestinian people to continue the struggle against the occupation and support of prisoners.” 
Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Friday that Israel had information on the locations of the six men and that there was “intelligence and operational leads” that would help their recapture.
“Ultimately, we will get our hands on the people who escaped,” Gantz said during a visit to the Salem military base in the northern West Bank’s Jezreel Valley. “Determined work is being carried out with proper collaboration between the different security branches and we will continue this activity and ensure security for this area.”
“I hope the day ends quietly, but in any case, the IDF is prepared for any development,” he said, adding that Israel is working alongside the Palestinian Authority to find the escapees.
“We must understand we’re talking about six people out of millions living here,” Gantz added. “We have to be able to handle these six and those who assisted them without disturbing the balance.”

 Defense Minister Benny Gantz at the Salem IDF base in the Jezreel Valley, September 10, 2021. (credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY) Defense Minister Benny Gantz at the Salem IDF base in the Jezreel Valley, September 10, 2021. (credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)

Israeli security forces were placed on high alert ahead of a planned “day of rage” in solidarity with the six fugitives. Hundreds of Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces overnight on Friday in some 10 locations in the West Bank.
Earlier on Friday Palestinian media reported that IDF troops arrested five family members of the escaped Gilboa prisoners, including Raafat Gawadra and Youssef Qadri, the brother of escaped prisoner Yaquob Qadiri.
On Wednesday, soldiers arrested the father of escaped prisoner Munadel Enfayat after searching his home.
Soldiers also raided the town of Arrabe and searched several houses. Two of the fugitives, brothers Mahmoud and Mohammed Ardah hail from the town. The soldiers arrested three members of the Ardah family, the sources said.
Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.

Source: Jerusalem Post

Rate it


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."

list Archive

Previous post

Post comments

This post currently has no comments.

Leave a reply