A new video shows lack in Israeli security measures during events leading up to the 2021 Gilboa jailbreak by six Palestinian prisoners in an operation dubbed “Tunnel of Freedom”.
The video, first published by KAN and taken from a camera overlooking the cellblock where the escaped prisoners were held, shows the guard who was on duty that night going after the proscribed routine in a sloppy and inattentive manner.
According to the routine, during the night a guard is supposed to enter the cell block every half hour and with the help of a flashlight, look through portholes in the doors to make sure the prisoners are there. In the video, the guard can be seen not looking into the cells properly, and on some occasions, she even skipped over some cells – one of them being cell number five, from where the prisoners later escaped, The Jerusalem Post reported.
— الهدهد (@hodhod_pal) May 23, 2023
After barely a minute, the guard reported “all clear,” according to the report. She then wrote in the report book: “I carried out a visit in the block, in the cells 1-15, with a special focus on the prisoners with a heightened flight risk in cells 4, 5 and 14.” The prisoners escaped shortly after through cell number 5.
The first prisoner entered the tunnel, which was dug from the shower of cell number 5, between 00:30 and 01:00 a.m. The guard making the rounds at 01:00 a.m. should have detected this immediately, but didn’t. The last prisoner was through the tunnel at 01:37.
During the interrogation by the police, the last prisoner said of the guards that “they just passed through the corridor, but they didn’t check [the cells].”
Only almost two hours later, at 03:17 a.m., cell number 5 was opened. “This is criminal negligence in my eyes,” said commissioner Katy Perry in her testimony in front of the inspection committee.
The escapees who were known as “heroes of freedom tunnel” included Zakaria Zubeidi, Munadil Nafayat, Ayham Kahamji, Yaquob Qadiri, Mahmoud Al-Arda and Mohammad Al-Arda.
Source: Israeli media