Israel indicts six Palestinians who escaped high security prison

Six Palestinian prisoners who made a daring escaping from an Israeli prison in September were formally indicted Sunday, Israel’s justice ministry said.

The men were charged with escaping from the high-security Gilboa prison in northern Israel while five others were accused of assisting them, a statement said.

The inmates — five from the Palestinian militant group and one belonging to the armed branch of the Palestinian Authority’s Fatah faction — had been held for attacks against Israel.

They escaped by digging a tunnel under a sink.

One of them, Mahmud Abdullah Ardah, said after he was recaptured that he had used spoons, plates and even the handle of a kettle to dig the tunnel.

The six — hailed as heroes by Palestinians — were recaptured in batches during a major Israeli manhunt in September.

In addition to Ardah, the alleged mastermind of the escape, they include Zakaria Zubeidi who headed the Fatah armed wing.

The other four are Ayham Kamamji, Munadel Infeiat, Yaqub Qadri and Mohammad Ardah.

Lawyers for two of the prisoners said they had begun to dig the tunnel in December.

Israel has launched an investigation into how they pulled off their daring escaping.

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