Israel Re-arrested Four Out of Six Palestinian prison escapees

Bethlehem/PNN/

Two more Palestinian fugitives, including former Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade leader Zakaria Zubeidi, were re-arrested by Israeli occupation security forces in northern Israel on Saturday, bringing the number of apprehended prisoners from Monday’s jailbreak to four out of six.

Zubeidi and the second prisoner, Mohammed Aradeh, were arrested hours after the first two fugitives were caught. Police and Shin Bet forces found them in Umm al-Ghanam, between an olive grove and a truck lot.

IOF sweeping the area spotted two suspicious people, and a police counter-terror unit were called to the scene to identify them. According to a police source, Zubeidi resisted arrest but was quickly restrained.

Israeli officials believe that of the two high-security inmates who escaped Gilboa Prison on Monday and remain at large, one crossed into the West Bank, while the other is still in Israel.

Last night Israeli media outlets said that two of the Palestinian political prisoners who last week broke out of the Israeli prison of Gilboa have been caught by the Israeli police in Nazareth.

The two prisoners were reportedly extremely exhausted after six days of manhunt when they were caught by the Israeli Police on the outskirts of Nazareth, north of occupied Palestine.

The two were identified as Mahmoud Al-Arda, 46 years old, and Yaaqob Qadri, 49 years old. Both are from the northern West Bank province of Jenin, and are already serving life in prison.

The remaining two prisoners currently remain at large, despite the massive Israeli manhunt across the northern West Bank and the 1948-occupied territories to locate their whereabouts.

The six Palestinian prisoners escaped from Gilboa Prison early Monday morning through a tunnel they dug from within their cell, apparently over the last six months. All the escaped convicts – five members of Islamic Jihad and one Fatah member – are convicted or charged with planning or carrying out attacks against Israelis occupation,

Even though the prison break was well planned, IOF officials said, the inmates broke out into groups of two afterward and improvised their next steps in an attempt to evade the security forces.

Of the last two, one is believed to be hiding in the Galilee region of northern Israel, while the other is believed to have successfully crossed into the West Bank.

Following news of Israel’s capture of four prison escapees, protests break out in several West Bank areas

Following reports from last night and this morning that the Israeli occupation forces were able to capture four of the six freedom fighters who escaped from Gilboa prison in northern Israel on Monday after digging a tunnel, protests and clashes with soldiers were reported in various parts in the occupied West Bank, according to sources, In the Jenin district in the north of the West Bank, home of the six prisoners, hundreds of people took to the streets late last night following the reports of the capture of two of the six prisoners in the Nazareth area and went to their homes in a show of solidarity with their families and towns.

In Bethlehem in the south of the West Bank, Palestinians clashed this morning and last night with Israeli soldiers at the northern entrance of the biblical city in protest against the capturing of four of the prisoners as two more were reported caught this morning in the lower Galilee.

The soldiers attacked the protesters with tear gas and sound bombs, said the sources, and one person, a 19-year-old resident of Aida refugee camp north of Bethlehem, was detained by the soldiers. There were no reports of injuries.

In the Dheisheh refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, residents took to the streets calling for freedom for all Palestinian prisoners held in Israel for resisting the occupation and holding the Israeli government responsible for the lives of the captured prisoners and others.

The Israeli occupation forces captured Zakaria Zubeidi and Mohammad Arda this morning as well as Mahmoud Arda and Yacoub Qadri who were caught last night. Two more, Ayham Kamamji and Munadel Nfeiat remain at large.

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