Gilboa Prison break: Commission of inquiry list announced

On the list are former IDF advocate-general Dr. Menachem Finkelstein, Prof. Efrat Shaham and Shin Bet division head Arik “Harris” Barbing.

 Ayham Kamamji, one of the six prisoners who escaped out of Israel's high security Gilboa prison, a few weeks ago is surrounded by Israeli police officers at the Magistrates court in the northern Israeli city of Nazareth, September 19, 2021. (photo credit: DAVID COHEN/FLASH 90)
Ayham Kamamji, one of the six prisoners who escaped out of Israel's high security Gilboa prison, a few weeks ago is surrounded by Israeli police officers at the Magistrates court in the northern Israeli city of Nazareth, September 19, 2021.
(photo credit: DAVID COHEN/FLASH 90)

Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev published on Friday morning the list of officials on the government commission of inquiry slated to investigate the Gilboa prison escape. 

The committee will be headed by former military advocate-general Dr. Menachem Finkelstein, Prof. Efrat Shaham and Shin Bet cyber division founder Arik “Harris” Barbing. 

The news of Finkelstein's appointment had already been publicized, while the others were announced by Bar Lev on Friday morning. 

 Israeli soldiers guard along a fence leading to the West Bank, as part of search efforts to capture six Palestinian men who had escaped from Gilboa prison earlier this week, September 9, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD) Israeli soldiers guard along a fence leading to the West Bank, as part of search efforts to capture six Palestinian men who had escaped from Gilboa prison earlier this week, September 9, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said last week that a commission of inquiry would be established to thoroughly investigate the incident, in which six high-security Palestinian prisoners dug themselves out of Gilboa Prison earlier this month. 

Benett said at the time that it would be “a comprehensive and serious inquiry, but we are taking a wider look, and see what happened as a wake-up call.

“Things can, and must, be done differently, especially regarding a security agency like the Prison Service: clean and quality appointments according to professional parameters only, defining national goals, and formulating orderly work plans. What has gone bad can be repaired.”

It took two weeks to arrest all six prisoners. 

Four of the fugitives who escaped from Gilboa Prison were recaptured in northern Israel by the Israel Police Counterterrorism Unit.

The last two escapees, Munadil Nafayat and Iham Kahamji, were finally arrested on Sunday night by Israeli forces in Jenin, putting an end to a nearly two-week-long manhunt.

Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.