Six Palestinian prisoners escape from Israeli prison, inspiring hope among the Palestinian people


Photo By: Yezen Saadah

Crowds gather at Palestine solidarity protest.

On Monday, September 6th, six Palestinian prisoners – Zakaria Al-Zubaidi, Iham Kamamji, Monadal Infiat, Yakub Kadari, and cousins Mahmoud and Muhammad Al-Ardah – escaped from Israel’s top-security prison of Gilboa, by reportedly digging an underground tunnel with rusty spoons and were able to flee before alerting Israeli forces. Five of the escapees were originally arrested for alleged terror offenses, and one was not charged with any crime whatsoever. Following the incident, Israel had launched a manhunt for the six men.

While Israel paints the Gilboa prison escape as presumably dangerous and unjust, this act of self-liberation was, in actuality, committed in defiance of injustice. This singular prison break draws attention, not to Israel’s so-called impressive security or supposed dedication to legality, but to their unjust, immoral, and fundamentally inhumane system of mass incarceration. 

In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces have built a system of mass incarceration and detainment that solely targets Palestinians in order to maintain apartheid. Subject to Israeli military rule, the Palestinians of the West Bank are violently arrested and literally thrown into jails without charge nor trial at the whim of Israeli soldiers. This system isn’t made to “deter violence” as Israel claims; it exists to terrorize and repress the Palestinian people for the sole purpose of maintaining apartheid. Mass incarceration applies not only to freedom fighters but to the Palestinian common folk as well. Students, workers, and even children are being exploited for being Palestinian – nothing else. Purposeful violence leads not to peace, but to corruption and immoral subjugation.

Israel’s brutal military occupation is nothing new; the same acts of oppression against the West Bank have existed since 1967 and have only gotten worse as the decades of injustice forcibly went by, with more than 700,000 Palestinians from the occupied territories of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem imprisoned. Today, Israeli forces have imprisoned approximately 4,650 Palestinians, including 200 children, 40 women, and 520 people held without charge. 

Since the launch of Israel’s manhunt, forces have arrested all of the six self-liberated men after two weeks of searching; however, the mere fact that they willfully escaped the way that they did is admirable, inspiring, and symbolically powerful. It shows nothing but determination, spirit, and most importantly, hope for a Free Palestine. Sheikh Jarrah and Al Aqsa Mosque’s bombardments back in May, as well as the devastating Gaza bombings, have sparked universal solidarity with Palestine, as seen through protests, rallies, and social media’s influence (Houston being a prime example of this). For the Palestinian people, this incredible feat is undeniably powerful and acts as resistance through ambition – a demonstration that freedom and justice are possible if one is determined to achieve it.