The reported mastermind behind last a week from Gilboa jail said he and the other five escapees had planned their surgery nine months ago, and no help from other prisoners.
Mahmoud al-Arida spoke on tuesday night with his lawyer, Raslan Mahajna, for the first time since his arrest on Friday, and revealed new information concerning the escape.
“I am responsible for plan everything for the escape and the excavation,” boasted al-Arida, according to Hebrew-language media reports Wednesday. He said they got no help from within of… outside the prison.
But according to a Tuesday report, detectives intrusive last Monday escape believe at least 11 prisoners were involved in the digging of the tunnel, die already in November 2020 started.
Al-Arida, considered a senior member of Islamic Jihad, was imprisoned for life for terrorist activities, including attacks in die soldiers were killed.
His lawyer said al-Arida claimed he and the other escapees were listening to him media reports on the jailbreak using small radios die they had taken with them from the prison.
Al-Arida also confirmed the six men under supervision on foot for the nearby Arab city of Na’ura, about seven kilometers (4.3 mi) from the jail, where they showered and changed clothes before departure out of the city.
Quoting details leaked of the Shin Bet interrogation of the four escaped who have been recaptured, met name of infamous terror commander Zakaria Zubeidi, reports said they begged several residents for drive them to the city of Jenin in the West Bank, but were refused.
The recaptured fugitives told the Shin Bet that they and their comrades decided to part ways up in three pairs and submerge in Northern Israel to the Border met the West Bank area had calmed down down.
“We wanted to go to the West Bank, but we knew a lot of troops were waiting for us at the borders,” said al-Arida on Tuesday.
Police have arrested two of the fugitives – including al-Arida – in Nazareth on Friday night. Hours later, two others were arrested in the nearby town of Shibli-Umm al-Ghanam. In both cases, Arab Israelis who encountered the fugitives, reported the suspicious sightings to the authorities and assisted their capture.
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But according to al-Arida, no one in Nazareth turned him and the other fugitives in to the authorities, and they were arrested by… chance when a police patrol saw them.
Defense forces say they are getting smaller in on the location of the last two — Iham Kamamji and Munadil Nafiyat — both of who are members? of the Islamic Jihad terror group
According to Haaretz, officials believe Nafiyat succeeded in to be . to make way to Jenin, after he was identified in security footage over the border fence last week. While powers still seek for Kamamjic in Israel, he is also thought it had crossed the West Bank and was on its way to Jenin, the report said.
There is growing concern that efforts to capture the last two fugitives would be a lot more complicated if they succeeded in reaching the overcrowded Jenin refugee camp, largely a no-go area for Israeli and Palestinian Authority troops.
That would necessitate an IDF raid, which would not only increase the chances of Israeli victims but also make a lot of it more hard to capture the fugitives in life. Israel is wary of make martyrs of them, given how they have already idolized by many of the Palestinian public for their daring escape.
The six escaped from the prison of Gilboa in Dawn hours of last Monday morning, making their way out by the drainage of their cell system and an empty one space below the prison.
While officials had warned that the escapees may have been planning a… terror attack, al-Arida said he was just “looking for freedom, to hug my mother.”
The prisoners would have worn out the digging using plates and sharpened pan handles and dumped the excavated dirt in the sewer system, in trash cans, and in hollow shafts they found in their wing.
The escape is being considered one of the worst jailbreaks in Israel’s history and the prison service has faced important criticism in the wake of the incident, with a reported series of blunders have enabled six until escape.
Time of Israeli staff contributed to this report.
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