Israeli police said on Saturday they had arrested four of the six Palestinians who had been released from a high-security prison this week – including a prominent militant leader who had been detained for several years. His deeds have made him a popular figure in Israel.
The arrests brought Israel closer to closing a shameful incident that exposed deep flaws in the prison system and Fugitive prisoner I Palestinian Heroes At the end of Friday, Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired a seemingly solidarity rocket at Israel, prompting Israeli airstrikes.
Four wanted men were arrested in a pair of arrests in the north. Israel.
On Saturday morning, police said they had arrested two people, including Zakaria Zubeidi, from the Arab town of Umm al-Ghanem. Zubeidi was a militant leader during the second Palestinian uprising in the early 2000s.
Although he has been linked to attacks on Israelis, he has also been known for frequent media interviews and befriending an Israeli woman. Zubaidi had received a general amnesty for several years and had taken college courses and was active in the West Bank Theater Movement before being re-arrested in 2019 on suspicion of involvement in the attacks.
Photographs released by police show Zubeidi, handcuffed and blindfolded, led by two police officers.
Police said in a statement that Israeli security forces, including the army, were working “around the clock” to catch the fugitives.
Police said all forces were deployed with full force, searching open areas, gathering every piece of information until they were able to solve the riddle of finding the two fugitives. The search for the last two prisoners continued.
Earlier, two other detainees were arrested in the northern Israeli city of Nazareth, west of Umm al-Ghanem.
A video circulating on social media shows police chaining Yaqub Kadari, one of the Israeli prisoners, in the back seat of a police car and asking for his name. The man, wearing jeans and a green T-shirt, calmly identified himself as Qadri and replied when asked if he was one of the fugitives. Qadri was serving a two-year sentence for attempted murder and planting a bomb.
According to Israeli media reports, locals in both towns turned into prisoners.
Six Palestinians were released from prison in Gulbou on Monday, sparking riots in Israel and the West Bank.
For the Palestinians, the fugitives succeeded in freeing themselves from multiple life sentences. Fighting against Israel and taking part in attacks against the Israeli army or even civilians is a source of pride for many, and Palestinians consider Israeli detainees to be heroes of their national cause.
While Zubaidi was a member of the secular. Victory The group, others belonged to the Islamic Jihad militant group, four of whom have been sentenced to life in prison. All the prisoners are from Jenin, a town near the occupied West Bank.
As news of the capture of the two fugitives was confirmed on Friday, there was a wave of bitter posts on Palestinian social media expressing frustration and shock.
Israel said over the weekend that Palestinian militants in Gaza fired a rocket at Israel, which was stopped by Israeli air defense. The Israeli military says it has responded to airstrikes on several Hamas targets in Gaza. Israel says it controls Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007, and is responsible for all rocket fire from the region.
There was no immediate reaction from. Palestinian AuthorityBut Abdul Latif al-Qano, spokesman for the ruler of Gaza. Hamas The movement said that despite the re-arrest, the detainees had “won and damaged the dignity of the Israeli security system.”
The escape has exposed major flaws in Israel’s prison service and ushered in days of angry criticism and finger-pointing. The men escaped through a hole in the floor of their joint cell, through a tunnel through a hole outside the prison, and, according to media reports, escaped from a sleeping prison guard.
It has also increased tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.
Earlier on Friday, Hamas called for a “day of rage” against Israeli crackdowns on Palestinian prisoners, but the day passed without a major confrontation. In Jerusalem, a Palestinian suspected assailant was shot dead shortly afterwards by Israeli police, where he allegedly tried to stab officers. An officer has a minor leg injury, police said.