Official Letter Warned of Jailbreak a Week Before

A man walks by the location where Palestinian terrorist Zakaria Zubeidi and another Palestinian prisoner were arrested, following their escape from Gilboa prison together with other four others, in the village of Umm Al Ghanam. (REUTERS/ Gil Eliyahu)

In the latest in a series of revelations about negligence and incompetence in the Israel Prisons System, it emerged on Sunday that officials were warned of a possible jailbreak just days before six security prisoners tunneled out of Gilboa Prison in the north, according to Walla news.

IPS deputy chief commissioner Moni Bitan sent a letter on August 31saying “the security prisoners, regardless of their organizations, have the potential to escape.”

This was in contrast to a report by Bitan in May which found Gilboa in good shape.

“It is clear that the guards are proficient in the task they are performing and are acting in a professional and proper manner,” Bitan wrote at that time, according to Walla, making no mention of a possible escape.

It was not immediately clear what internal response, if any, was elicited by Bitan’s recent warning.

The last of the fugitives were captured in Jenin on Motzei Shabbos, ending a massive two-week manhunt.

During that time, IPS officials came under fire for not having taken adequate precautions, and for lack of vigilance at the time of the breakout, including a guard who was reportedly literally asleep at her job.

An investigation into the circumstances of the escape has been launched.

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