Israel steps up search for escaped Palestinian prisoners

The six Palestinian men escaped on Monday (September 6) through a hole in the floor of a prison cell. The inmates, five of whom are members of the Islamic Jihad militant group and one of the Fatah group, have either been convicted or are suspected of planning or carrying out deadly attacks against Israelis.

Hours after the escape, prison officials transferred some other inmates - Palestinians convicted or suspected of anti-Israeli activities including deadly attacks - to other jails, fearing similar tunnels had been dug.

Defence Minister Benny Gantz said on Friday (September 10), during his visit to Salem Military Base in the northern part of the West Bank, that Israel will continue searching in an effort to capture the six men.

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