Israeli forces on Tuesday continued searching for six Palestinian prisoners after escaping from a heavily-guarded prison in northern Israel.

Israeli police erected 260 roadblocks and checkpoints as part of its manhunt for the escapees, the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation network reported.

The Gilboa prison break on Monday shocked the Israeli leadership at all political, security and media levels after six Palestinian detainees secretly dug a tunnel from their cell to outside the prison.

According to the broadcaster, the Israeli Prison Service is checking whether the guard on the tower, near the tunnel outside the prison, was sleeping at the time of their escape.

It said surveillance cameras documented the escape but the prison wardens and guards didn’t watch the camera footages at the time of their escape.

Israeli police said the camera footages show two of the escapees fleeing in the north direction but police believe this was an attempt to divert the search operation.

Police said preliminary investigations suggest that the six Palestinians at 01:30 midnight made their way out of the cell that they shared by digging a hole in the floor of their bathroom, and once being out they changed their clothes where a car helped them to rush their escape.

At 01:49, police received a call from a citizen who was driving near the Gilboa prison and informed the police of seeing a suspicious person near the prison who was holding things in his hands.

At 02:00, a police patrol arrived at the scene and at 02:14 another citizen called the police and informed them of seeing a suspect near the prison.

Israeli security forces didn’t announce further details about their search operations, which involve large numbers of troops from the police, special forces and the army.

Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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