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Israel Captures Last 2 Palestinian Inmates Still Free After Prison Break

todaySeptember 19, 2021 5

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JERUSALEM — The last two of six Palestinian prisoners who escaped a maximum-security Israeli prison two weeks ago were recaptured early Sunday, the Israeli military said.

It said the two were arrested during an army raid in their hometown, Jenin, in the occupied West Bank. The arrests closed an intense pursuit and an embarrassing episode that exposed Israeli security flaws after the six inmates tunneled out of their cell on Sept. 6.

Palestinian news outlets reported that clashes had erupted in Jenin when troops entered the city. But a spokesperson for the Israeli police said the two escapees, Munadil Nafayat and Eham Kamamji, were arrested without resistance at a house where they had taken refuge.

Fouad Kamamji, Eham Kamamji’s father, told The Associated Press that his son had called him when troops surrounded the house and said he would surrender “in order not to endanger the house owners.”

The four other inmates were captured several days after the prison break, in two separate operations in northern Israel. All six of the prisoners are from Jenin.

Five of them — four of whom are serving life sentences — are members of the Islamic Jihad militant group. The sixth, Zakaria Zubeidi, is a well-known former commander of the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a militant group loosely affiliated with Fatah, the secular group that dominates Palestinian politics in the West Bank.

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