Fatah operatives (Archive)
Photo: AP

13 prisoners escape PA prison again

Group of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades operatives wanted by Israel flees Nablus jail using grenades to blow up gates. PA officer says escape could undermine amnesty deal with Israel

Thirteen prisoners, all members of Fatah's military wing, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, escaped a Palestinian Authority prison in Nablus Friday night. All the men are wanted by Israel for involvement in terrorist activity.


The group included senior Brigades commander Mahdi Abu Razala. One of the operatives who escaped told Ynet that they decided to flee the jail after Palestinian authorities failed to address their problems.


The same group fled the prison a month ago, but agreed to turn itself in two days later.


A Palestinian officer said that the prisoners blew up the prison gates using hand grenades, and also hurled grenades at PA security forces.


Ynet has learned that the Palestinian Preventive Security boosted forces around the town's old quarter, where the men are believed to be hiding.


The officer stated that the PA is determined to recapture the operatives, "even if this leads to casualties. We are committed, according to the amnesty deal, to keep this group locked up and under supervision. If they remain outside, this will give Israel an excuse not to implement the amnesty deal."


He added that Israel was set to announce soon on a new list of wanted Palestinians who will be granted full amnesty. "An incident like this undermines the PA's standing in the Palestinian street at a time when we're trying to enforce order, and could also play into Israel's hands and jeopardize the chances of the other wanted operatives to be granted pardon."


פרסום ראשון: 04.04.08, 23:59
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