Reprinted from Honest Reporting.
Riots have raged across the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem as Palestinians burned tires and threw rocks at IDF soldiers following the jailbreak of six prisoners.
On Wednesday, hundreds took part in violent demonstrations in eight different locations that were organized in solidarity with the fugitives, who managed to flee Gilboa Prison via a tunnel that had been dug beneath a sink.
Fatah, which controls the Palestinian Authority, has warned that the “brave prisoners” represent a “red line” against Israel and it will take steps to protect them. Spokesman Osama Qawassmeh added: “Our people stand against any practices that the occupying state may try to implement against our prisoners.”
The wanted men include Zakaria Zubeidi, a former commander of Fatah’s US-designated terrorist group Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, who was detained while on trial for crimes including attempted murder. The other escapees – identified as Munadil Nafayat, Iham Kahamji, Yaquob Qadiri and brothers Mahmoud and Mohammed al-Arida – were jailed for deadly attacks on Israelis and being members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organization.
In the two days after their escape, public celebrations were held in the cities of Nablus and Hebron, while sweets were also handed out in Gaza.
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad issued several threats against the Jewish state after security forces deployed drones and set up road checkpoints in the Jenin area of the West Bank, where it is thought the prisoners may have fled.
Israel has “dramatically accelerated” its preparation for taking action against Iran’s nuclear program, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi has revealed.
Explaining that the Jewish state was actively working to “minimize the Iranian presence in the Middle East,” particularly in Syria, the military chief said operations had already targeted terror proxies of the Islamic republic, Hamas and Hezbollah.
According to Kohavi, the increased Israeli defense budget was to allow the IDF to target this specific threat, adding: “It’s a very complicated job with a lot more operational capabilities and a lot more armaments. We are working on all these things.”
Iran has recently boosted its stocks of uranium that have been enriched well to beyond levels allowed under the 2015 nuclear deal, the UN’s nuclear watchdog has warned.
The IAEA said its monitoring of the country’s program has been “seriously undermined” after Tehran suspended some inspections of nuclear facilities.
The Taliban has said it is willing to establish diplomatic ties with every single country in the world except Israel.
The extremist group, which swiftly seized control of Afghanistan last month as the United States withdrew its military presence from the country, recently announced its first government.
Asked if the Taliban would work with Washington, its spokesman Suhail Shaheen explained: “Yes, of course, in a new chapter if America wants to have a relation with us, which could be in the interest of both countries and both peoples, and if they want to participate in the reconstruction of Afghanistan, they are welcome.”
However, he said there was no possibility of any ties with the Jewish state: “We won’t have any relation with Israel. We want to have relations with other countries, Israel is not among these countries.”
Shaheen was last month forced to deny he knowingly gave an interview to an Israeli media organization. He claimed he was duped into giving comments to Kan public broadcaster.
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