Palestinians Riot in West Bank in Support of Escaped Prisoners
Palestinians protested across the West Bank on Wednesday night in support of six Palestinian security prisoners who escaped Monday from the maximum-security Gilboa Prison after digging a tunnel from their cell under the high prison walls.
Violent protests took place near in Hebron, Azzoun, Bethlehem, Ramallah, the Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus and eastern Jerusalem. Protesters in Ramallah fired live ammunition at Israel Defense Forces troops, but no Israeli soldiers were injured.
In response to the riots, the IDF extended the closure of the West Bank, that had been put into place over the Rosh Hashanah holiday and was set to end on Wednesday night, through Saturday night. The closure is meant to quell the riots and also to assist in the manhunt for the escaped prisoners.
The fugitives are members of terror organizations; five of the men belonged to Islamic Jihad and one was a former commander of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Jenin in the West Bank. All of the six prisoners were serving life sentences for deadly attacks on Israelis.
Palestinians in several prisons throughout Israel also rioted in support of the escaped prisoners. Meanwhile, the Israel Prison Services transferred prisoners from the Gilboa Prison, and separated members of the Islamic Jihad from one another in jail cells throughout the prison system.