The Israel Prisons Service was able to foil a plan by Islamic Jihad terrorists to escape from an Israeli prison using an underground tunnel, it was revealed Thursday.
The terrorists, who are imprisoned in the Shita prison in northern Israel, had dug a tunnel four meters (13 feet) in length from the bathroom and planned to escape through it.
The tunnel was discovered when prison guards searched the cells of the prisoners after obtaining information that they planned to harm prison staff. Upon searching the cells, the guards discovered improvised Prisons Service uniforms and spikes and decide to expand the search, leading to the discovery of the tunnels.
A senior Prisons Service official said on Thursday that the prisoners probably would not have been able to escape through the tunnel since it was too narrow. The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) is investigating.
Some 700 criminal prisoners and terrorists are imprisoned in the Shita prison. The prison was used by the British forces during the British Mandate, and was built on top of an Ottoman structure.