Gilboa Prison Break Caught on Cameras, Missed by Guard

Gilboa Prison. (Flash 90)

Last week’s maximum-security Gilboa Prison break was one of the gravest jailbreaks in Israel’s history.  It was caught on the facility’s security cameras but was missed by the prison guard on duty in the control room because he was watching the news, Walla news reported on Monday, citing an unnamed source.

A government commission is currently reviewing the incident, headed by retired judge and former IDF Judge Advocate General Menachem Finkelstein.

Four of the escaped terrorists were apprehended over the weekend. Yaqoub Mahmoud Qadri and Mohammed Qassem al-Arida were caught in Nazareth Friday night. Hours later, notorious Fatah terrorist Zakaria Zubeidi and PIJ terrorist Mohammed al-Arida – believed to be the mastermind behind the escape – were arrested in the nearby town of Shibli–Umm al-Ghanam.

According to the official quoted in Walla’s report, the prison break set off the prison guard dogs’ barking, which triggered audio sensors. The signal was sent to Gilboa’s control center, further triggering a technological feature that turned some of the facility’s security cameras to the area. However, it seems that the prison guard on duty that night in the control center was otherwise occupied and missed noticing the escape.

The footage shows that the fugitives lingered by the entrance to the shaft for about 20 minutes, helping one of them who was stuck. Also reported were alerts sent by prison maintenance teams to the presence of large quantities of sand in the facility’s trash.

Commenting on the manhunt earlier Monday, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi said that Israel’s security forces “will not stop until they are caught and will not allow the terrorist organizations in Gaza and Yehudah and Shomron to turn this event into a reason to harm the country’s citizens.”


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