Sep 21, 2021

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Ayman Odeh, a Member of Knesset representing the Joint Arab List, said in an interview on Saturday that in the wake of six terrorists escaping an Israeli prison, he now advocated releasing all security prisoners. 

Last week, six security prisoners, four serving life sentences and all affiliated with Palestinian terrorist organizations, escaped from Gilboa Prison in Northern Israel by digging a tunnel. Four of the escapees were recaptured over the weekend. 

“If six prisoners managed to break through the narrow and crowded prison, then millions of the Palestinian people can end the occupation — so that the people will be released and the prisoners will be released,” Odeh wrote in a Facebook post.

He later told Channel 12 News: “People escaped from prison – we need to shut all of the prisons.

“All of these prisoners need to be in the Palestinian state that will be founded alongside Israel. The occupation is the root of all evil. There is only one last occupation in the entire world – what Israel does to the Palestinian nation.”

The head of the Joint Arab List, an alliance comprising Balad, Ta’al, and Hadash, further said, “My dream is that there will be no more prisons, there will be no more occupation.

MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, chairman of the Otzma Yehudit party, responded: “Ayman Odeh should sit in prison together with the terrorists whom he supports. My dream is that there should be no terrorists in the country and no terror supporters in the Knesset, and that the State of Israel bring back its deterrence and sovereignty.”

Ofer Cassif, the only Jewish member of the Joint Arab List, tweeted a claim that the captured escapees would be tortured for escaping.

“Tonight the two captured fugitives will be severely tortured, only to avenge their success in deceiving the ‘masters.’ This is how colonialism has always acted,”  he tweeted, adding that “the end to violence is by the elimination of the occupation! For the benefit of us all!”

Police reported that the four escapees were captured after Arab residents tipped them off. The escapees were reportedly digging through trash bins in search of food.