They defied the strong military hardware of Israel through using their common sense.
Palestinian Prisoners escape Israeli prison using spoons. 6 of the boldest freedom fighters imaginable decimated legends about the impenetrable power of Israeli high-security prison with a spoon, digging a tunnel.
Inside Israeli prisons, Palestinian prisoners fight for their rights with persistence and resiliency, using various methods of resistance to seek their freedom. The most commonly-used tactic is launching hunger strike. But this time is different; they used a spoon. In a daring and ingenious move, 6 of the boldest freedom fighters imaginable decimated legends about the impenetrable power of Israeli high-security prison with a spoon, digging a tunnel that led to their freedom, managing to liberate themselves from the Israeli incarceration. When Israeli occupation special the freedom fighters were missing, they acted decisively and barbarically against the prisoners remaining inside the jails cells. After an intensive two-day operation searching for the escaped men, four fugitives apprehended and the other two to go.
Despite being re-apprehended by Israeli forces, they have succeed in shining a light back on the cause of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli occupation jails. They also prove that, no matter what the occupation does against them, it will not bring them to kneel or destroy their spirit. Their steadfast belief in freedom defeats the Israeli hypocrisy with their advanced weapons.
The detainees have been identified as: Monadel Yacoub Nafe’at, 26, Yaqoub Qassem, Yaqoub Mahmoud Qadri, 49, Ayham Nayef Kamamji, 35, and Mahmoud Abdullah Ardah, 46. And Zakaria Zubeidi,46. They are all sentenced for life.
Steadfastness Defeats Advanced Technology
The 6 prisoners managed miraculously to escape one of Israel’s highest-security prisons. An impenetrable fortress located in the Beit Shean valley, 4km north of the occupied West Bank and 14km west of Israel’s fence with Jordan, Gilboa Prison was once described by an official in the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) as more secure than the safes at the Bank of Israel.
And yet, despite the advanced security technology which made Israelis believe Gilboa was inescapable, Palestinian ingenuity won out. It’s a remarkable achievement worthy of praise and study: to hide the digging process for months from the prison administration, and getting rid of the sand to hide the evidence of their progress. Undoubtedly, it also required great skill to bypass the security system in order to remain undetectable for the duration of their work in the tunnel.
It’s also a great achievement that their escape put the entire Israeli occupation army on high alert for over a week so far, exhausting them. By continuously moving from place to place over the course of the days following their escape, they forced the Israeli occupation to mobilize all its cadres and technological efforts into finding the escapees. Two of them remain free until this moment, which is a great victory proving the limits and fragilities of the Israeli occupation’s high-powered capabilities.
Retaliatory Measures Against Prisoners
Following the incidents, the Israeli occupation prison administration has launched massive punitive measures against the remaining Palestinian captives. The spokesperson of the Media Information Office, Muath Abu Sharekh, says that “the Israeli occupation’s measures meant to turn their failure into revenge on the captives in their custody,” also reporting that “several massive arbitrary measures have been taken against the prisoners, including denying what the detainees usually have access to in terms of yard time and time in the canteen.”
According to the Captive Movement, all Palestinian organizations and factions in the occupation prisons have formed an emergency committee to confront the Israeli Prisons Authority’s suppression of all prisoners across prisons, despite the difficulty of communication between prisoners. In multiple occupation jails, detainees set fire to their cells in protest of Israel’s abuses and threats. The Palestinian Prisoners Society has announced that next Friday they will commence launching a mass open hunger strike that, in the first stage, will include 1,500 to 2000 elite prisoners, in addition to setting into action a plan for the remaining prisoners to confront the brutal repression. Ex-prisoner Ayman Sharawna says, “The arbitrary acts [of Israeli violence] will never hide the great shame that has befallen the occupation and its institutions” as a result of the Great Escape and the new resistance measures launched across prisons. “And it increases the Palestinian detainees insistence on obtaining their freedom by all means.”
Prison Enflames Tensions Across Occupied Palestine
The cause of Palestinian political prisoners is always considered a hot spot that pulls on all Palestinians’ triggers, across Palestine. Palestinians took to the streets celebrating the victory of the six prisoners following their escape, and after the announcement of their recapture, several protests were held calling for the protection and safety of the four as well as protesting punitive measures and collective punishment against the other prisoners. Scores of Palestinians reported being injured as Israeli troops used lethal force against the protesters.
The Palestinian resistance in Gaza also issued a powerful statement. Abu Obaida, the iconic spokesperson for the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian resistance movement for Hamas, pledged in a recorded speech to free the four political prisoners who were recaptured days after their daring escape.
“There will be no new prisoner swap between resistance in Gaza and the Zionist entity without the four heroic prisoners that were rearrested by the occupation,” Abu Obeida confirmed.
The Palestinian people who felt grieved by the news about the recapturing of the four detainees take a sigh of relief after hearing Abu Obaida’s speech.
The mother of Mahmoud Al-Ardah, one of the 6 detainees, said of Abu Obaida’s promise, “I totally believe in his word, and I feel that I am going to see my son soon.”
Abu Obaida further promised the valiant prisoners that they will be freed soon as part of an upcoming prisoner exchange deal. 2 Israeli soldiers, captured during the 2014 Israeli aggression on Gaza, are currently in detention by the Palestinian resistance. Palestinians remain full of hope that an exchange deal will take place soon, freeing the Palestinian detainees.
The scene of the tunnel hole still dominates the international newspapers and social media platforms, and there is no answer yet to the questions about how they dug and escaped, yet the world has seen that isolated prisoners inside a high-security prison built with advanced technological capabilities were able to penetrate it with simple tools, armed with their insistence and determination.
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