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(photo credit: AP [file])
Zakariya Zubeidi, one of Israel's most wanted and the Aksa Martyrs Brigades leader in Jenin, escaped arrest Thursday night as IDF troops exchanged fire with gunmen holed up inside a home in the West Bank city.
Acting on intelligence, the Border Police's undercover elite Yamam unit surrounded a home in Jenin late Thursday night where Zubeidi was believed to be hiding together with a number of other wanted men.
Gunbattles erupted between the sides and six Palestinians were evacuated by the IDF to hospitals in Israel. One died of his wounds on the way.
Initial reports claimed that Zubeidi had been killed in the fighting, but later reports by Palestinians said that he succeeded in evading arrest.
Zubeidi was suspected of planning several terror attacks against Israel, among them Wednesday's thwarted suicide bombing in the West Bank settlement of Barkan, where troops nabbed a Palestinian with an explosives belt on his way to Israel.
Zubeidi is also known for his publicized friendship with left-wing activist Tali Fahima, who is serving a prison sentence for security-related offenses.