Remaining Prison Escapees Captured by Israeli Forces in Palestinian City
The final chapter in the doubtless movie-bound story of six Palestinians who tunneled their way out of a maximum-security prison in Israel was written before dawn on Sunday when Israeli security forces apprehended the two remaining escapees. The pair had been hiding out in the West Bank city of Jenin, not far from the location of the prison itself, since the spectacular jailbreak on September 6. The other four had been taken in or near Nazareth, located farther north in Israel. All six were serving sentences for murder and other violent crimes; one is a senior Hamas official and the other five are members of Islamic Jihad. Israeli security sources said its teams located the fugitives before the start of the weekend. As military units entered Jenin on Saturday night, skirmishes between soldiers and local activists broke out. But the targets of the manhunt reportedly surrendered without resistance. Although the six have been recaptured, investigations into the affair are continuing. Among the questions to be answered are why there was an empty prison guard observation tower and a sleeping guard in a second position.