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Israeli forces storm Palestinian communities as manhunt continues after prison break

Palestinian youths carry a poster reading in Arabic “the second great escape from the prisons of the Zionist enemy - 1987 Saraya Prison - 2021 Gilboa Prison,” following the escape of six Palestinians from an Israeli prison, during a celebration in Jenin in in the occupied West Bank, on September 6, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli forces have stormed dozens of areas across the occupied West Bank district of Jenin, where they conducted extensive searches and raids to find the six Palestinian inmates who escaped from a maximum-security Israeli jail.

Media sources in Jenin said dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded the Arraba plain area and conducted searches in Palestinian communities on Tuesday evening.

According to Palestinian media outlets, the Israeli forces raided the homes of the six escaped prisoners and began to arrest their relatives.

They invaded Arabbuna village northeast of Jenin and stormed and ransacked dozens of homes.

The following footage shows the moment Shaddad Ardah, the brother of escaped prisoner Mahmoud Ardah, is arrested.

Clashes erupted between the Palestinian youth and occupation forces in Arabbuna after the Israeli invasion.

Dozens of Israeli soldiers also invaded Aneen village west of Jenin and conducted massive searches of homes and lands.

Similar invasions occurred in Faqqu’a village northeast of Jenin for the second day in a row.

The Israeli troops searched mountains near Faqqu’a and interrogated dozens of residents.

The regime’s army claims that its extensive searches are part of efforts to find the six Palestinian political prisoners who escaped from Gilboa prison.

The following footage shows the Israeli military forces’ storming of Arraba town:

Zakaria Zubeidi, a former commander of the Palestinian resistance group al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade in Jenin, and five members of the Islamic Jihad group managed to tunnel their way out through their cell’s drainage system to escape from the maximum-security jail in the predawn hours of Monday.

It was the biggest Palestinian escape from an Israeli jail since 1987, when six members of the Islamic Jihad broke out of a heavily-guarded jail in Gaza.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called on the Israeli regime to release all Palestinian prisoners.

“Every Palestinian prisoner wants freedom, and they have the right to seek out any path to freedom,” Shtayyeh told reporters on Tuesday, without directly referring to the prison break.

Prisoners threaten to burn their cells

The escape, which marks a humiliating defeat for Israel, has prompted the regime to launch a massive manhunt in the occupied West Bank and to conduct airstrikes against the besieged Gaza Strip.

Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett called the escape a “grave incident”, while Palestinians celebrated it on social media.

Palestinian resistance groups, including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, also hailed the jailbreak as a “heroic act” and a “powerful blow to the occupation forces.”

Meanwhile, Islamic Jihad prisoners in Ktzi'ot Prison threatened to burn every cell they are expelled from in response to the continuing attacks against them by prison authorities.

In a letter, they called on the Islamic Jihad to take strong acts of support for them and halt the Israeli regime’s fierce attacks against them.

They warned that taking them out of their cells and scattering them will worsen the situation toward an escalation.

Palestinian prisoners have been subjected to systematic torture, harassment and repression all through the years of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) keeps Palestinian prisoners in deplorable conditions lacking proper hygienic standards.

More than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in some 17 Israeli jails, with dozens of them serving multiple life sentences. Israeli forces have arrested more than 17,000 minors since 2000.

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