Israel hunts Palestinian militants after escape from jail escape

One of the escapees was serving a 17-year sentence for stabbing an Israeli, the other a 12-year sentence for killing an Arab suspected of collaborating with Israeli authorities.

When Israeli forces withdrew from areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, some Palestinians jailed for security offenses were transferred to prisons inside Israel.

Prison officials said the "very thin" men had escaped through a tunnel that was only some 16 inches high.

Public Security Minister Avigdor Kahalani appointed a special team to investigate the escape.

The commissioner of Israel's Prison Authority said he would resign if the investigative team found him personally responsible.