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Bennett vows to ‘fix what’s broken’ after terrorists’ prison break


“The amount of energy and efforts invested to fix a serious of mistakes and failures that simply should not have happened is immense,” Bennett stated. “It requires examination and for us to learn lessons.”

Bennett’s remarks came the day after police recovered four of the six escapees from Gilboa Prison.

The events are a wake-up call to the government, he added.

Bennett referred to the commission Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev announced on Thursday to look into the prison break, saying it will be “a comprehensive and serious investigation.”

The prime minister spoke out against state-run systems that have “atrophied” in recent years that need to be made more efficient and to strive for excellence.

“We can and must work differently, especially in a security organization like the Prison Services, [such as instituting] high-quality appointments in accordance with purely professional parameters, setting national targets and forming organized work plans. What was broken can be fixed,” he said.

Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel, Agriculture Minister Oded Forer and Culture and Sport Minister Chili Tropper planned to demand more restrictive conditions for convicted Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons at Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Kan 11 reported.

Deputy Public Security Minister Yoav Segalovitz is also reportedly expected to demand the commission to handle as many issues related to security prisons as possible.

Between Friday night and Saturday morning, four of the six fugitives, including Zakaria Zubeidi, were caught by Israel Police’s Counterterrorism Unit in Nazareth and Umm el-Ghanam with help from locals who tipped of the police. IDF trackers from the Mirol Reserve Unit took part in the manhunt, as well.

Munadil Nafayat and Iham Kahamji remain at large.

Five of the escapees – Munadil Nafayat, Iham Kahamji, Yakoub Mohammed Qadri and brothers Mahmoud and Mohammed Ardah – were identified as members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and from the Jenin area.

The sixth, Zakaria Zubeidi, was a prominent leader in Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades during the Second Intifada. He was later granted an amnesty but was arrested again in 2019.

They escaped from Gilboa Prison on Monday. Though security forces initially thought that they were being helped following their escape, it is now believed that the fugitives did not have any outside assistance.

Following their arrest, they were transferred to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) for additional questioning. The four men were taken to Nazareth District Court Saturday night and had their detention extended by nine days. The Palestinian Prisoners Association said that they were not allowed to meet with their lawyers.

Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.





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