Reprinted from Honest Reporting.
Four of the six Palestinian fugitives who broke out of Gilboa Prison have been recaptured by Israeli security forces following a five-day nationwide manhunt.
Police arrested the men, including the alleged mastermind of the escape plot Zakaria Zubeidi, a former commander of Fatah’s US-designated terrorist group Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, near the northern Israeli city of Nazareth.
The military was forced to erect roadblocks and deploy drones last week in numerous areas of the West Bank in a bid to track down the escapees, five of whom were convicted of being members of the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad terrorist group and being involved in attacks that killed Israeli citizens.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinians took part in violent demonstrations in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem in a show of support for the terrorists, who tunneled out of the prison through a hole underneath a sink.
The captured men were taken to a Northern District Court in Nazareth on Saturday night for a hearing and will likely be kept in solitary confinement while the search continues for the other two fugitives.
Prosecutors say they may have planned to carry out a terror attack following their escape.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has called for urgent action against Iran following reports from the United Nations nuclear watchdog that the Islamic Republic has stepped up its uranium enrichment program and is not allowing inspections of its nuclear facilities.
The Israeli leader warned the time has come for international intervention to stop Tehran from acquiring the bomb, saying: “Israel views with utmost gravity the picture of the situation reflected in the [International Atomic Energy Agency] report, which proves that Iran is continuing to lie to the world and advance a program to develop nuclear weapons while denying its international commitments.
“I call for an appropriate and rapid international reaction to the severe actions of Iran. The IAEA report warns that the time to act is now,” Bennett said.
The premier also hit out at the “naive expectation” that negotiating with Iran would bring about any tangible change to the country’s nuclear ambitions.
“Israel will do everything to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons,” he added.
Bennett’s comments come just days after IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi revealed Israel has “dramatically accelerated” its preparation for confronting the Iranian threat, including targeting its terror proxies Hezbollah and Hamas.
The IDF has responded to rockets being fired into southern Israel with strikes targeting a Hamas military compound that included rocket production workshops, a training facility, a terror tunnel and a munitions store.
Sirens sounded at 9pm on Saturday night in the southern town of Sderot and surrounding communities close to Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip and at least two rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system.
In a statement, the Israel Defense Forces confirmed fighter planes and helicopters launched strikes on Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure.
”The IDF will continue to respond strongly to terrorist acts from the Gaza Strip, and considers Hamas responsible for everything happening there,” said a statement from the military’s Spokesperson’s Unit.
The rockets were launched after the recapture of four of the six Palestinian prisoners who escaped from Gilboa Prison.
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