Umm Muhammed Umar
The Middle East Eye reports that four of the six Palestinian prisoners who made a daring escape from a maximum-security Israeli prison on Monday have been captured.
Zakaria Zubeidi, a high-profile former commander of Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and Mohamed Qassem Ardah were reportedly found hiding in a truck parking lot near Nazareth. They were arrested just hours after Mahmoud Abdullah Ardah and Yaqoub Mahmoud Qadri had been captured in a Nazareth neighbourhood.
Palestinian factions and rights groups have called the Israeli military’s deployment of troops following the incident, collective punishment. Family members of the escapees had been arrested this past week. Further, the Israeli Prison Service cut break time for prisoners to one hour a day, following the escape. They also shut the prison canteen, and reduced the number of inmates able to walk in the yard. Family visits were completely banned. According to MME, hundreds of Islamic Jihad-linked inmates were relocated. In another prison, Ketziot Prison, special units and Israeli soldiers carried out a raid, following which Palestinian prisoners set fire to seven cells.
Towns in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip saw several protests on Friday in solidarity with prisoners inside Israeli jails. Meanwhile, the al-Aqsa mosque compound was stormed by Israeli forces after Friday prayers, and a sit-in protest resulting in the death of a doctor from East Jerusalem from Israeli fire, and the arrest of a Palestinian man.