Mahmoud Al-Ardah, the intellectual and mastermind of the Gilboa Tunnel


Mahmoud Al-Ardah, the intellectual and mastermind of the Gilboa Tunnel


Mahmoud Ardah’s attempt to escape from the occupation prison is not the first, but rather the third, which reflects his stubbornness in the face of the occupation, and he is known to be an active athlete and a first-class educator.

Fathia Al-Ardah, the mother of the prisoner Mahmoud, holds his picture

Jenin - once, twice, and this third, and the third is "fixed", not in the proverb as it was said, but in fact it was established by Palestinian prisoner Mahmoud al-Ardah and was able to wrest his freedom despite the Israeli occupation after more than a quarter of a century of detention.

And Mahmoud Al-Ardah, 46, the mastermind and stubborn captive who never tires, did not drop the idea of ​​liberation from his agenda, and tried again and again until he succeeded. The jailer "whom I never loved or begged."

When he was young, he described the model as a "stubborn and hard" boy, which was the reason for his arrest when he was 15 years old, and he was sentenced to 4 years in prison in 1991, then he was arrested again two years after his liberation, to translate, after 25 years of detention, his violence on the ground and take away his freedom and five of his companions In detention last Monday morning.

The hole of the tunnel through which Mahmoud Al-Ardah and his companions escaped from Gilboa Prison (communication sites)
The stubborn intellectual
Perhaps the qualities of the leader accompanied Mahmoud in his detention and pushed him to liberation, so he led the "prisoners of Islamic Jihad" to flee twice in 2014 from Shatta prison, adjacent to Gilboa, where he carried out his last operation, and the occupation was every time punishing and isolating him from the prisoners.

Despite this, despair did not infiltrate the same prisoner, so that he fought the last liberation battle with members of his group in the two previous attempts, after charting the path of his freedom himself, and for years and despite the restrictions of the occupation.

Sheikh Khader Adnan, a leader in the Islamic Jihad Movement and one of Mahmoud’s most prominent comrades, says that the occupation punished him and his faction with isolation for many months, especially after their attempts to escape, and prevented them from living in one-story prisons, and deprived them of kitchen utensils, so that they would not use them by digging.

With his wisdom, and speaking to Sheikh Adnan, the crossbar returned to Gilboa prison, and was isolated in a cell with his comrades, to carry out his operation on a quiet fire, and succeeded in it, victorious over the occupation and all its technical and intelligence tools.

Mahmoud is an active athlete and an intellectual of the first degree. With his first arrest, he obtained a secondary certificate, then completed his higher studies inside his prison. He was known for his eagerness to read and educate himself, so he memorized the Holy Qur’an and wrote about Sheikh Al-Ghazali and the impact of his thought and knowledge on the Islamic Jihad movement, and wrote a book on the jurisprudence of jihad.

Like his lightness, he was known for his athletic activity, and for being a blazing torch in dealing with and serving prisoners, and his distinguished relationship with captive cubs despite the age difference.

Track the leaders
The creativity of the captive model was evident by following his sheikh and prison leader, Saleh Tahaineh, who was released from prison twice, replacing his name with the names of other prisoners.

Mahmoud Al-Ardah is one of the leaders of the prisoners of the Islamic Jihad movement in the prisons of the occupation, and was elected as a member of the supreme leadership committee of the prisoners of the movement.

Al-Ardah prisoner is not only a “good student”, says Sheikh Khidr, but is a skilled teacher who trusted prisoners from outside his faction, in reference to Zakaria al-Zubaidi, who fled with him.

The organizational barriers did not prevent him from that confidence and pursuit of freedom, to respond to the occupation, which is trying to question the interdependence and unity of the Palestinians, "and that is why the Prison Authority hated him, and he did not love it or appease it."

Israeli police continue a massive combing campaign in search of the six prisoners

Joy and fear in the eyes of a mother
Where the prisoner of the cross comes from the village of Araba near the city of Jenin in the northern West Bank, his mother, Fathia, 78, and his family live in a state of joy mixed with fear and anxiety over him, and she can only pray that God preserves the “seven” as she likes to describe him since his childhood, and says the grieving mother. What her son and his comrades did raise their heads despite the occupation.

The last time Hajja Fathia saw her son Mahmoud in his prison was 4 years ago, and his brother Muhammad told AJ news that, as a punishment for Mahmoud, they were denied visits from time to time.

Araba turned into a military barracks for the occupation army, where it witnessed incursions into the homes of prisoners of the "Freedom Tunnel", and my brother Mahmoud was arrested; Raddad, a freed prisoner, spent 20 years in the prisons of the occupation and Shaddad, and spent 7 years.

The state of anticipation experienced by the captive's casual family hides great hopes that are crowned by sincere calls from the hearts to protect him and "blind the eyes of the Jews", concludes his mother, whose eyes are mixed with tears of joy and sadness together.
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