A group of 14 Palestinian militants escaped from a Palestinian Authority prison in Nablus Thursday, Palestinian sources reported.So, Palestinian Arab prisoners can pretty much decide to leave whenever they want, they keep their own mobile phones, and get all the help they need from their guards.
The prisoners, members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, had been involved in fighting against the IDF in recent months and were hiding in Nablus' old city, the Kasba. Some six weeks ago, the group turned itself in to the PA, following a comprehensive IDF operation in the Kasba.
The IDF agreed to let the militants, who are wanted by Israel, stay in the Palestinian prison on condition that the Palestinian security forces keep them incarcerated and deny them weapons and contact with terror organizations until Israel pardons them.
So far, however, Israel has refused to include the men in the pardon agreement for Fatah fighters, under which Palestinians give up their arms in return for an Israeli amnesty.
Thursday afternoon the entire group broke out of prison, apparently with the help of their Palestinian wardens. One of the escaped prisoners is Mahdi Abu Ghazale, commander of the Al-Aqsa Brigades' Night Horsemen.
Ghazale announced Thursday that the group had decided to leave after the prison authorities reneged on the conditions they had agreed on when they turned themselves in. Ghazale and his group were set to hold a news conference in Nablus but apparently canceled, fearing for their safety.
Palestinian journalists who visited Jneid Prison recently reported that the militants had been kept in real prison conditions. They had mobile phones but were not allowed to contact militant organizations and their calls were being monitored.
Among the other fugitives are Omar Akub, Ala Akub, and Sufian Kandil. PA officials have tried to persuade the militants to turn themselves in.
An Israeli defense source said that as far as Israel knew, only nine militants had broken out of the prison. The IDF warned the PA that if it did not capture the escapees within 24 hours the army would take action against them, as at least some of them are seen as a risk to Israel's security.
And, of course, these were from Nablus, where the PA announced months ago that they had gotten rid of all terrorists and the US rewarded them with $1.3 million.
Do you think it came with a money-back guarantee?