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Israeli police catch 2 Palestinians who broke out of prison

In this Dec. 30, 2004 file photo, Zakaria Zubeidi, then leader in the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in the West Bank, is carried by supporters during a presidential elections campaign rally in support of Mahmoud Abbas, in the West Bank town of Jenin. For nearly two decades, Zubeidi has been an object of fascination for Israelis and Palestinians alike, who have seen his progression from a child actor to a swaggering militant, to the scarred face of a West Bank theater promoting “cultural resistance” to Israeli occupation. In his latest act, he has emerged as one of Israel's most wanted fugitives after tunneling out of a high-security prison on Monday, Sept. 6, 2021, with five other Palestinian militants. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser, File)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police on Friday night said they had caught two of the six Palestinians who broke out of a maximum-security prison this week in a daring prison raid that has captured the country’s attention.

Police said the two were caught in northern Israel on Friday night.

The announcement did not identify the prisoners or give any other details. But the Haaretz news site identified them as Mahmoud Aradeh and Yakub Kadari — members of the Islamic Jihad militant group who were both serving life sentences. The report said the men were caught in the northern city of Nazareth after a civilian alerted police to two suspicious figures.

A video circulating on social media showed Israeli police shackling a man into the backseat of a police vehicle and asking the suspect for his name. The man, wearing jeans and green T-shirt, calmly identifies himself as Kadari and answers “yes” when asked whether he is one of the escapees. Kadari was serving two life sentences for attempted murder and bomb planting.

The six Palestinians tunneled out of the Gilboa prison on Monday, setting off a furious manhunt across Israel and in the West Bank.

They include four members of the militant group Islamic Jihad who were serving life sentences as well as Zakaria Zubeidi, a well-known militant leader from the second Palestinian uprising in the early 2000s. All of the prisoners are from the nearby city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank.

The escape has exposed major flaws in Israel’s prison service and set off days of angry criticism and finger pointing.

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