Handcuffs (illustrative photo) 370.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Thirteen years after his legal furlough was supposed to end, Mahmoud Sharaf was
taken into custody after he was found by Prisons Service officers at his home in
Over the past 13 years he has spent on the run, Sharaf has
managed to marry, father four children and enjoy a quiet life living under an
assumed name in the West Bank city of Nablus.
On Tuesday his life on the
run came to an end when IDF troops and officers from the Prisons Service’s elite
Masada unit raided his Nablus home and took him into custody without incident.
He will now finish serving the rest of his sentence in Hadarim Prison and could
face added time for the escape.
Sivan Weitzman, spokeswoman for the
Prisons Service, said that Sharaf was living a rather quiet life, for the most
part staying home and keeping a low profile, mainly only spending time with his
wife and four kids. He was found following a lengthy investigation, in which
security forces gathered intelligence about his believed whereabouts, she
She added that at the moment they’re not sure what type of work he
was doing all these years, or if he ever tried to flee abroad.
Sharaf and two other codefendants were sentenced to life in prison for murder,
aggravated robbery and causing bodily harm, for the murder and robbery of a
security guard at a bank branch in Taiba.
In keeping with Prisons Service
regulations, the three men became eligible for the furlough after serving a
quarter of the life sentence (30 years in Israel) and were not judged to be a
danger to the public. The other two men also fled during the furlough, but were
caught years ago in hiding places in the West Bank.
Sharaf was by no
means the first Israeli inmate to flee during a furlough.
In 2004, Moshe
Ben-Ivgi, convicted of the murder of cab driver Derek Roth in 1994 along with
Arbel Aloni, famously fled overseas with a fake passport during a furlough and
made his way to Argentina, where he managed to disappear, until he was arrested
by Argentinian police and imprisoned three years later. That furlough was
awarded to the two youths even though during a 1998 furlough they carried out a
violent armed robbery of a grocery store.