סריקות בצפון הארץ אחר שני המחבלים הנמלטים מכלא גלבוע אשר עדיין לא נתפסו
Security forces search for two remaining Palestinians who escaped last week
Photo: Elad Gershgorn
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaking at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday

Bennett calls Gilboa prison break 'succession of failures and mistakes'

PM says national institutions suffer from atrophy and must undergo a process of repair to become more efficient and strive for excellence; security officials believe one of the two remaining fugitives is in the Jenin area of the West Bank

Haim Goldich |
Published: 09.12.21, 14:59
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday called the shocking escape of six Palestinian prisoners from a high-security facility last week a "succession of failures and mistake".
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  • Their Hollywood-style escape on Monday through a hole in their cell floor at Gilboa Prison in northern Israel, delighted Palestinians and embarrassed Israel, sparking a massive manhunt. Four out of six prisoners have been captured on Friday and Saturday, while the other two remain at large.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
     ישיבת ממשלה
     ישיבת ממשלה
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaking at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday
    (Photo: AFP)
    Speaking at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, the prime minister said he thanked the citizens who acted responsibly and alerted the security forces, which led to the capture of the four prisoners.
    "Our security forces laid their hands on four of the prisoners who escaped from Gilboa Prison last week," Bennett said.
    "I want to commend all those who worked to bring this about – the police, the Shin Bet, the IDF including - who worked day and night to see the prisoners returned to jail," the prime minister said.
    He also thanked the ministers of defense and public security.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    סריקות בצפון הארץ אחר שני המחבלים הנמלטים מכלא גלבוע אשר עדיין לא נתפסו
    סריקות בצפון הארץ אחר שני המחבלים הנמלטים מכלא גלבוע אשר עדיין לא נתפסו
    Security forces search for two remaining Palestinians who escaped last week
    (Photo: Elad Gershgorn)
    "We are two thirds of the way there. We've captured four of the six terrorists. The efforts to apprehend the remaining two, continue as we speak."
    The prime minister said an "enormous amount of energy" was needed following a succession of "failures and mistake that should not have occurred," which led to the prison break.
    "We've decided to set up a commission of inquiry into the escape to conduct an extensive and serious probe," he said.
    "In a broader perspective, we consider the event a wake-up call. Some of our national systems have suffered from atrophy in recent years and must undergo a process of repair to become more efficient and strive for excellence," Bennet said.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    בית כלא גלבוע
    בית כלא גלבוע
    Gilboa Prison after six Palestinian security prisoners escaped from their cells on Monday
    (Photo: Getty Images)
    He added it is possible to "fix" the Israel Prison Service but the government must ensure appointments to senior positions "are made based on professional considerations only, we must set national goals, put proper plans and workflows into action".
    In the meantime, Public Security Minister Omer Barlev said security officials believe one of the two remaining fugitives is in the Jenin area of the West Bank.
    "We will take any action necessary to capture them, at all costs," he said in an interview on Ynet on Sunday.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    מסוק באוויר בסריקות בצפון הארץ אחר שני המחבלים הנמלטים מכלא גלבוע אשר עדיין לא נתפסו
    מסוק באוויר בסריקות בצפון הארץ אחר שני המחבלים הנמלטים מכלא גלבוע אשר עדיין לא נתפסו
    A police chopper flies in the skies over northern Israel in the search of escaped Palestinian prisoners on Saturday
    (Photo: Elad Gershgorn)
    "If we have to operate in the area of Jenin which is under the control of the Palestinian Authority, we will have to prepare for a more complex operation, but we will be on the ground there as well and we will capture them," Barlev said.
    Palestinians in Jenin on Sunday held a commercial strike, keeping shops closed in protest of Israeli efforts to capture the escaped prisoners.

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