Jenin camp, Occupied West Bank: Members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group stated if Israeli forces enter the Jenin camp in search of six Palestinian prisoners who escaped from a high-security Israeli prison they will face retaliation.

On Wednesday, Israeli troops with dogs scoured gaps in Israel’s separation wall close to the Palestinian town of Yaabad near Jenin, while surveillance airplanes hovered above.

Tensions escalated within the Jenin area as gunfire resonated throughout the camp on Tuesday night and Palestinian fighters vowed to retaliate if Israeli forces harmed the escapees or other Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

it is uncertain where the six Palestinians are hiding. the (six Palestinians) were believed to possess been headed for Jenin, where their families are based, and where the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority wields little control.

Hundreds of Israeli security forces and intelligence agents on Wednesday continued the look for the six Palestinian prisoners who tunneled out of Gilboa jail on Monday.

Meanwhile, dozens of checkpoints were erected between the West Bank and Israel, as Israeli authorities feared armed Palestinians might attack Israeli settlers within the occupied West Bank or within Israel.

‘Expect them any time’

Jamal Zubeidi, 65, the uncle of 1 of the prisoners, said the family expected Israeli soldiers to invade the camp at any time.

“We don’t know when they will come but we expect them any time and we are prepared,” Zubeidi. “Our family has suffered from the Israeli occupation for many years.”

The escapees included Zakariya Zubeidi, 46, a former Fatah party leader within the northern West Bank city of Jenin, also as five Palestinian Islamic Jihad members.

Islamic Jihad also warned Israel against harming the six men.

‘Not scared’

Despite the tense atmosphere at the Jenin camp, many young men cheered the escape of the six prisoners, also because of the possibility of standing up to Israeli forces if they enter the camp.

“The guys are not scared. They are fighting for their rights,” Noor Saadi, 27, who previously spent two years in an Israeli jail.

Since the stunning prisoner escape, the Israel Prison Service has choppy groups of Islamic Jihad members in various prisons.

It also evacuated 90 Palestinian prisoners out of a complete of 360 held in Gilboa, because the facility undergoes an intensive inspection.

Israel stated apprehending the six men was a matter of urgency, not only to stop potential attacks but also because their escape emboldened gunmen from various factions to confront the Israeli militarily.

Since the escape, Israeli soldiers have raided several villages near Jenin, confiscating film from surveillance cameras and checking the identities of car occupants. Israeli soldiers have also increased their presence publicly places in Israel.

Raiding Palestinian villages

Three Palestinians from the village of Noura in northern Israel were arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of aiding the prisoners in their escape.

According to Israel, one of the escapees was captured by surveillance cameras within the town’s mosque.

Al Jazeera witnessed Israeli troops invading the village of Arrabunah, southwest of Jenin, on Tuesday night where soldiers confiscated footage from surveillance cameras before groups of young Palestinians threw stones at them. Shortly afterward, the soldiers withdrew.

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Earlier on Tuesday, Israeli soldiers positioned themselves on the hills overlooking the village of Deir Ghazzalah, which lies near the Israeli separation wall between the northern West Bank and Israel. A surveillance drone hovered over the village in the dark.

In recent weeks, there are numerous clashes between Israelis and Palestinians within the northern occupied West Bank, mainly in Jenin and Beita.

Two weeks ago, a minimum of four Palestinian men was shot dead during confrontations with the Israeli army within the Jenin camp during a raid by Israeli Special Forces to arrest a wanted Palestinian man.

Witnesses said a gaggle of Palestinians engaged in clashes with members from the Israeli police’s Musta’ribeen – an undercover unit made from Israelis disguised as Palestinians.

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