JERUSALEM (VINnews) — After a 5-day manhunt by Israeli police and Shin Bet agents, 4 out of the 6 terrorists who escaped from the Gilboa prison have been apprehended by police.
Two of the terrorists were found hiding in Nazareth where local residents reported them to police on Friday evening. The other two, including terrorist leader Zakaria Zubeidi who was responsible for tens of terror attacks on Israelis during the second Intifada as well as afterwards, were found hiding under a truck in the village of Shibli-Um El-Ghanem near Mount Tabor at 5 AM on Saturday. The terrorists were apprehended without a fight. The village is known as pro-Israel with numerous members of the village serving in the IDF.
Israel news outlet Kann reported Saturday evening that the terrorists had spoken with an Arab farmer and asked him to give them a ride to the nearby village of Iksal. The farmer asked them where they were from and they said that they were from Iksal but the farmer recognized that their accent was different and alerted police who succeeded in apprehending them.
The terrorists were described as “tired, hungry and unresisting” and were overpowered by the special police unit. Zubeidi was accompanied by Mahmoud Arade, an Islamic Jihad terrorist serving a life sentence for sending a suicide bomber to explode in Israel.
Israel’s public security minister Omer Bar-Lev praised the Arab Israeli population for assisting in catching the terrorists. “For four days the escapees moved around believing that they would find shelter and aid from Israeli Arabs – but they were mistaken. In every place where they came and were located, Israeli Arabs ignored their requests and called 100 [police number] instead. Congratulations to all the responsible citizens.”
Zubeidi was arrested in 2019 after violating a 2007 agreement with the Palestinian Authority to desist from all terrorist activity in return for amnesty for his actions during the second Intifada. After he returned to terror activities he was charged for all of the previous terrorist acts and is expected to be jailed for life.
Palestinians and even some Israeli Arabs had been celebrating the daring escape of Zubeidi and the other terrorists and attempted to mitigate the embarrassment at his being caught hiding out in an Israeli Arab village by photoshopping a picture of Zubeidi after his capture- changing his haggard appearance to a smiling version.