Gilboa Prison

9 mistakes help prisoners to escape from Israel's most guarded prison

Gilboa Prison

Gilboa Prison

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Gaza post


Although the investigation into the country's most notable jailbreak has yet to begin, Israeli media has already highlighted certain mistakes. Among them were a warden who fell asleep despite the ruckus and the decision to keep the six inmates together, some of whom had already tried to flee.


Four of the six Palestinian detainees who escaped from Israel's Gilboa jail have been apprehended. The search for the other two continues.

Minister of Public Security Omer Bar Lev has already said that he will launch an investigation into the prison break, which has received widespread local and international attention. He's also said he'll "turn every stone" to figure out what went wrong and how the escape was made possible.


For the time being, Israeli occupation are baffled as to how the six escaped from Israel's most guarded jail, but local media reports that there was far too much neglect surrounding the tragedy, and that the writing has long been on the wall.


Tragic Mistakes

The following are the nine major errors made by the occupation that allowed the six Palestinians, all of whom had been charged with terrorism, to flee.



1. In 2014, three out of the six escapees attempted an escape. At the time, they were being kept in the same cell and used the same method -- digging a tunnel that was hidden under one of the bathroom tiles. They were eventually caught, but jail authorities failed to treat the hole they had dug. The inmates were punished but they were not separated.
2. According to prison regulations, inmates are supposed to be shuffled around once every six months. That is done in order to prevent them from bonding but in the case of the six, that measure was not implemented.
3. The prisoners dug a tunnel that was 21 to 25 metres long. How did they know the direction it should be taken? And how did they figure out where the exit should be? Reports suggest that the answers to these questions they found online, as a detailed plan of the Gilboa prison was publicly available on the website of the architectural office that designed and built the jail.
4. A week before the escape, Zakaria Zubeidi, a Palestinian inmate from Fatah, asked the prison authorities to move him into a cell together with the five inmates that belonged to a radical group, the Islamic Jihad. Normally, convicts stick together according to their affiliation and the fact that such a request was submitted should have rang an alarm. But it didn't and the transfer was made, resulting in the escape.
5. On the night of the escape, a female warden who was stationed at the watch tower fell asleep. On Friday, after she gave her testimony, she even admitted that she heard noises but ignored them and continued sleeping. In addition, another tower that's observing the area of the tunnel's exit was not manned, and authorities say it was because of " staffinig issues".
6. The Gilboa prison has a control room with multiple monitors. On the night of the escape, the room was manned but the wardens were not watching the screens.
7. A year ago, the prison has purchased an advanced taping system that aimed at listening to the conversations of the inmates and fish suspicious content. It was also aimed at blocking dangerous conversations. But it turned out that it has never been activated and that enabled the six prisoners to carry out their operation and even get in touch with a car that has been waiting for them.


8. Prisoners know that the Shabak, or Israel's internal spy agency, is watching them. They also know that the prison authorities are watching them from up close. But in the case of the six fugitives those bodies have failed to collect the much-needed intelligence that would prevent their escape.
9. Shortly before the jailbreak, the prison changed its phone numbers but it forgot to update the local police station. On the night of the escape, a cab driver that passed in the vicinity of the jail noticed three suspicious men, who were wearing a brown uniform (associated with security prisoners). He alerted the police, which in return tried to reach out to the prison authorities but they failed to do so. As a result, precious time has been wasted.
Questions That Haven't Been Answered
There are a slew of additional issues that need to be addressed. It's unclear what tools the inmates used to excavate the tunnel, where they threw the soil, or how the sound of work went unnoticed.
It's also unclear whether the six Palestinians have gotten help from within the prison. Evidence suggests that this was the case. The investigation that is about to begin will undoubtedly uncover the truth.