Israeli Occupation Authorities Sentence Palestinian Jailbreakers to 5 Years

The Israeli Magistrate’s court has sentenced six Palestinian prison escapees to five years in prison for tunnelling out of their cell last year and escaping from a high-security facility in what became Israel’s biggest prison break in decades.

The court ruled on Sunday that “the sentencing of the six took into account the fact that the prison break had paralysed Israel for days, the financial costs involved in recapturing the escapees, and the harm to public security caused by prisoners, under life sentence and convicted of serious crimes, escaping.”

The five-year sentences will be added to the prison terms the prisoners are already serving.

Apart from the extra prison sentences, the court also slapped the six prisoners with a fine of 5,000 shekels (nearly $1500).

Five other inmates charged with assisting the men escape were sentenced to an additional four years in jail.

The six, already serving life terms, escaped on Sept. 6 last year from Gilbao prison through a tunnel dug under a sink.

Hailed as “heroes” by the Palestinians, their escape triggered a massive manhunt by army reinforcements and drones before their capture two weeks later.

Therefore, we stress the Palestinian prisoners’ right to restore their freedom after being illegally captured for resisting occupation, a right enshrined in international and customary law.

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