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Escapees captured, Israel opens crossing near prison break

Israel Palestinians Prisoners Escape
Posted at 1:02 PM, Sep 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-22 15:02:18-04

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israel has reopened a crossing with the occupied West Bank for the first time since six prisoners tunneled out of a nearby Israeli prison.

The rare escape triggered a massive search before they were all recaptured.

The military said the Jalameh crossing into the northern West Bank would be open for the first time since Sept. 6, when the prisoners escaped.

Six prisoners — five of them accused of deadly attacks against Israelis — tunneled out of Gilboa prison in northern Israel in the biggest jailbreak of its kind in decades.

According to the Associated Press, the escapees included Zakaria Zubeidi, 46, who was a leader in the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and had been detained since 2019.

The Washington Post reported at the time that five of the prisoners are members of the militant group Islamic Jihad.

At the time of the escape, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called it a "grave incident."

They split up into groups of two, and the final pair were apprehended in the West Bank over the weekend.