The Arab terrorists who murdered two young Jewish men at Nahal Telem in the Hevron area in January escaped a Palestinian Authority prison on Tuesday.
One of the terrorists was employed by Mahmoud Abbas' American-trained PA security forces; the other was a Fatah employee at the Sharia Court in Hevron.
Both had turned themselves in to the PA shortly after murdering Achikam Amichai and David Rubin in order to escape Israeli security forces. The Olmert government did not demand to extradite the killers to Israel for trial, but rather agreed to a Palestinian Authority trial and jail sentence.
Israeli security experts expressed doubts about the veracity of the escape story, which has been used repeatedly to cover the PA’s release of terrorists in its custody.
Other ‘Escapes’ From PA Prisons
Two similar “escapes” occurred last month, both in the PA-controlled city of Shechem, in northern Samaria.
Fourteen Fatah terrorists, including Mahdi Abu Ghazale, commander of Fatah’s Al Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades “Night Horsemen” gang, escaped, apparently with the cooperation of the prison officials who were guarding them, on February 21.
Israeli defense officials warned the PA to re-arrest the terrorists within 24 hours or the IDF would hunt them down. The next day the “escapees” turned themselves in to PA authorities just as the IDF began a large counterterrorism operation in the city.
Two weeks prior, on February 8, two terrorists escaped from the same prison, according to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency. The two were members of Fatah’s Al Aksa Martys’ Brigades and Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations.
Both were serving a 90-day jail term, after which they were to be freed under an agreement between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and PA Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas. The agreement was part of the Olmert government’s fugitive amnesty program, one of the numerous “good will gestures” to the PA as part of the effort to prop up the Abbas government.
Would-be Bomber Arrested Near Jenin, Other Security News
A PA Arab was arrested Tuesday after a search of his car revealed a load of explosive materials and a ready-to-use bomb. Border Police at a checkpoint near the PA-controlled Samaria city of Jenin disarmed the bomb, which was equipped with a detonator made from a cell phone and a large amount of shrapnel.
The would-be bomber was transferred to security personnel for interrogation.
In Taibe, a gun fitted with a silencer as well as a large quantity of ammunition was discovered during a police search of a resident's home on Tuesday. The man was taken for questioning by police authorities.
An Islamic Jihad terrorist was arrested in Bethlehem in a joint counterterrorism operation by IDF forces and officers from the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet).