Israeli forces on Saturday captured two more of the six Palestinian prisoners who made a dramatic escape from a maximum-security Israeli jail this week, a police spokesperson said.
The two men were found hiding in a truck parking lot in the northern Arab village of Shibli–Umm al-Ghanam, near the city of Nazareth, where two other escapees were captured hours earlier.
Their Hollywood-style prison break on Monday, through a hole in their prison cell floor, delighted Palestinians and embarrassed Israel.
Footage distributed by Israel Police showed officers leading the two men, blindfold and handcuffed, into a police vehicle as a manhunt for two more inmates that are still at large continued.
"They found them hiding under a semi-trailer," Yusuf Kahili, a resident of the town, said to reporters. "I saw them. They looked scared, hungry and humiliated."
The six men have either been convicted or are suspected of planning or carrying out deadly attacks against Israelis. Israeli officials have pledged a thorough investigation into apparent security lapses that allowed their escape.
One of the men captured on Saturday morning was the notorious terror commander Zakaria Zubeidi, a high-profile former commander of Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades group in the West Bank city of Jenin.
Zubeidi, who once received Israeli amnesty, was rearrested by Israel in 2019 after his alleged involvement in further shootings.
The other five prisoners are members of the Islamic Jihad militant group.
The second recaptured prisoner was named by police as Mohammed al-Arida, the younger brother of the reported mastermind of the jailbreak. Searches continue for Iham Kamamji and Munadil Nafiyat.
The arrests of Zubeidi and al-Arida came just hours after two other escapees from the jailbreak were arrested in the northern town of Nazareth.
The two fugitives were identified as Yaqoub Qadiri, 49, and Mohammad al-Arida, 39 - both members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist group.
Across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Palestinians have protested in support of the men, seeing them as heroes in their struggle for statehood in territory Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.
Palestinian factions said there would be repercussions for the men's capture. Gaza militants fired a rocket towards Israel on Friday following the first two rearrests, drawing Israeli airstrikes in the enclave.
The announcement of Zubeidi’s capture came after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with police and military officials for an assessment of the situation in northern Israel in the predawn hours of Saturday morning.