The Great Palestinian Escape of 2021: Reflections from the U.S. Abolitionist landscape

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At a rally in Khan Yunis, Gaza, on Sept. 8, 2021, demonstrators held up spoons like the one used by the six Palestinian prisoners who escaped from Gilboa Prison, pictured behind the woman protesting here. – Photo: Said Khatib, AFP by Diana Block On Sept. 6, 2021, six Palestinian political prisoners escaped from Gilboa prison, one of the highest security prisons of the Israeli apartheid state. They escaped through a tunnel that they had been digging for almost a year.& They painstakingly excavated the entrance to the tunnel from the concrete floor underneath the sink in their prison cell. The plan was accomplished with the most basic implements – spoons, plates and pan handles – while applying the most sophisticated secrecy and coordination to the operation. The escape represented a major security and intelligence failure for the Israeli state, which tries to present itself as invulnerable. The escape was heralded as a heroic victory across Palestine and was immediately elevated to legendary status as the “Great Escape.” Palestinians across the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem and within the 48 borders of Israel took to the streets to celebrate the courage and will power of the prisoners.& In Jenin, the home of...