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PA denies Israel reports it refused to help Gilboa escapees

Police officers search as they investigate an area where six Palestinian prisoners managed to escape from Gilboa prison overnight on September 6, 2021 near Kibbutz Beit HaShita in the Gilboa region, Israel. [Amir Levy/Getty Images]
Police officers search as they investigate an area where six Palestinian prisoners managed to escape from Gilboa prison overnight on September 6, 2021 near Kibbutz Beit HaShita in the Gilboa region, Israel. [Amir Levy/Getty Images]

The Palestinian Authority yesterday denied recent Israeli reports claiming it had refused to provide protection for the prisoners who had escaped the high security Gilboa Prison last month.

"What was recently claimed by Israeli media about the Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh refusing to provide protection for the six heroic prisoners who dug their freedom tunnel with their own hands in the fortified Gilboa Prison was fake news," the PA's spokesperson said on Facebook.

Ibrahim Melhem added that the rumours aimed at "weakening the national unity and creating a rupture in the national consensus," stressing that Shtayyeh had praised the "heroism of the six escaped prisoners."

"The Palestinian people won't stop attempts to regain their freedom," Melhem added, called for the "release of all our captive sons and daughters imprisoned in the occupation's prisons."

Israeli media reported on Wednesday that the PA had refused to protect two of the escaped prisoners.

On 6 September six Palestinian prisoners escaped from Gilboa Prison after digging a tunnel out of the prison. They were recaptured within two weeks and now face additional charges.

READ: Israel 'tortures' recaptured Palestinian prisoners

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