Officials report six high-security Palestinian prisoners escape Israel's jail

i24NEWS

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In response, the police deployed specialized units to scan the area for the prisoners

Six high security Palestinian prisoners have escaped Israel's Gilboa prison near the Sea of Galilee.

Five of the inmates are suspected Palestinian Islamic Jihad members, and have been convicted in connection to fatal attacks. The sixth is Zakaria Zubeidi, a high-profile commander in Fatah's military wing who was formerly on Israel's most wanted list. Zubeidi is responsible for numerous deadly shootings and bombings. 

All are considered dangerous and were serving life sentences, with three prisoners who attempted previous escapes.

The group apparently fled through a tunnel to escape, and their breakout was reported by a farmer in the area, according to The Jerusalem Post.

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In response, the police deployed helicopters, drones, dogs, and additional specialized units to the area to scan for the convicts. 

A photo of the prisoners' IDs was also circulating through Twitter. The Israel Prison Service has officially released names of the escapees and their affiliations, which include Mondal Ainfaat, Mahmad Aardiya, Muhammed Aardiya, Yakub Kadari, Iham Kamagi, all of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Fatah commander Zakaria Zubeidi.

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The IDF sent reinforcements to secure the Gazan and Jordanian borders, and prevent the escapees from fleeing the country. The prisoners are suspected to be heading towards either Jordan or Jenin, according to security officials on Channel 13.

Following their escape, heavy celebratory fire was reported in Jenin, a Palestinian city in the West Bank.

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