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Terrorist prisoners have right to escape, re-arrest is an “unprecedented crime”

Headline: “Following the arrest of four of the freedom tunnel prisoners by the occupation forces: The PLO holds the occupation government fully responsible for the prisoners’ lives”

“The PLO held the occupation government fully responsible for the lives and wellbeing of the prisoners, who are undergoing criminal abuse in its prisons of the most despicable kind (sic., see note below regarding PA libel on medical abuse of Palestinian prisoners). In a statement by [PLO] Executive Committee member [and Head of the PLO Department of Human Rights and Civil Society] Ahmed Tamimi yesterday [Sept. 11, 2021], the PLO said that the international laws consider them as prisoners of war (sic., Palestinian terrorist prisoners do not meet the definition of prisoners of war) and that the occupation is illegal, and therefore they have the right to resist it and be liberated from its captivity (refers to Gilboa Prison escape; see note below -Ed.)…

Fatah Deputy Chairman and [Fatah] Central Committee member Mahmoud Al-Aloul said that the prisoners who took their freedom by force restored the Palestinian cause to the top of the agenda. He said that the re-arrest of four of them and the tightening of the noose around the prisoners are unprecedented crimes and violations, which join the record of the occupation’s crimes.

In an interview with [official PA] radio [station] The Voice of Palestine, Al-Aloul said that Fatah has a clear strategy to act on the ground to pressure the occupation to release the prisoners. He added: ‘From the beginning we announced that all our people are standing alongside our prisoners, and that they constitute a laurel wreath on the brow of every Palestinian, as they sacrificed their freedom for our sakes.’

He also said that the heroes who liberated themselves from the grip of the prison guard achieved the honor of heroism and initiative, achieved their desire, and harmed the security doctrine of the enemy

Fatah emphasized that the fact that Chairman of the Prisoners’ Committee in the [Fatah] Revolutionary Council prisoner hero Zakariya Zubeidi (i.e., terrorist, responsible for numerous attacks) and his heroic prisoner comrades Mahmoud Abdallah Ardah, Muhammad Qassem Ardah, and Yaqub Qaderi (i.e., Islamic Jihad terrorists) were rearrested will not weaken the determination of our prisoners or the members of the lauded Palestinian people, which has been experienced in struggle and confrontation with the colonialist Zionist project for more than 100 years…

Fatah emphasized that it and the masses of our people are standing behind the prisoners and their cause, and that our Palestinian people will not sit idly by if any prisoner is harmed – whether from among the four who were rearrested, the two who are still enjoying freedom, or any of our heroic prisoners in the occupation’s prison.”

The article includes a picture of a girl holding a sign with the number “6” on it and barbed wire, indicating the six terrorist prisoners who escaped from Gilboa Prison.

Text on sign: “Zakariya Zubeidi and his comrades,

You are our pride.

Fatah”

Libel on medical abuse of Palestinian prisoners - the PA claims that Israel abuses Palestinian prisoners, through medical neglect, medical experiments, and by intentionally infecting them with diseases. However, the International Red Cross regularly visits these prisoners and has not documented or accused Israel of any of these claims. Likewise, lists of demands occasionally issued by the prisoners during hunger strikes - such as during one in 2011 - include no demands relating to these claims. PMW has documented prisoners talking about how they "lack nothing" in the prisons, and that "the worst thing about Israeli prison" is riding in a prison vehicle that has no padding on the seat. When PMW contacted the Israeli Ministry of Health in 2007 regarding PA claims of medical experiments on prisoners, the ministry responded: "Clinical testing on prisoners in prison was never approved, never performed, and is most certainly not taking place at present."

2021 Gilboa Prison escape – 6 Palestinian terrorist prisoners escaped from Israel's Gilboa Prison on Sept. 6, 2021, by widening the hole of the shower drainpipe in the floor of their cell. One terrorist is from Fatah - Zakariya Zubeidi, and the other five are from Islamic Jihad - Ayham Kamamji, Muhammad Ardah, Mahmoud Ardah, Yaqub Qaderi, and Munadil Nafiyat. Four of the terrorists were recaptured after five days: Zubeidi, Ardah, Ardah, and Qaderi. Kamamji and Nafiyat were arrested in Jenin on Sept. 18, 2021 along with two accomplices. Zubeidi was head of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades (Fatah's military wing) in the Jenin area during the PA terror campaign (the second Intifada, 2000-2005), when he oversaw numerous lethal attacks, and he also carried out shooting attacks in 2018-2019. Kamamji participated in the murder of 18-year-old Eliyahu Asheri on June 25, 2006, and planned to blow up a bus using an exploding car. Muhammad Ardah participated in initiating and executing a suicide bombing on bus no. 823 on Nov. 29, 2001, in which 3 people were murdered and many others were wounded. Mahmoud Ardah was involved in numerous attacks; the website of Islamic Jihad’s military wing defined him as the "commander" of the prison escape. Qaderi committed a shooting attack on Sept. 18, 2002 with an accomplice in which Israeli Yosef Ajami was murdered and a foreign worker was wounded. Nafiyat was being held in administrative detention.