Daoud Zubeidi, the brother of Palestinian prisoner Zakaria Zubeidi who temporarily escaped from Gilboa Prison last year, died on Sunday from wounds sustained during armed clashes with Israeli forces in Burkin on Friday.
He was shot in the abdomen after forces from the YAMAM counterterrorism unit, Border Police and Sayeret Golani entered the village near Jenin to arrest wanted Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) member Mahmoud Al-Debai on Friday morning.
During the operation, which lasted close to four hours, clashes with gunmen injured 13 Palestinians, including two seriously and five moderately.
One of the seriously wounded Palestinian gunmen was identified as Zubeidi. He was transferred to the Ibn Sina hospital in Jenin for medical care and then to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, following a request from the Palestinians when his condition deteriorated.
The hospital confirmed his death. Israel is reportedly withholding his body.
Following attacks in which Palestinians are killed by Israeli security forces, their bodies are regularly taken to Israel. Though bodies are sometimes retired to their families at a later date to be buried, Israel has also withheld bodies in order to be used as part of future negotiations and as a deterrent against terror attacks.
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Jenin had warned on Saturday that “any harm to the life of the wounded Daoud Al-Zubeidi will open the fire of hell in the face of the Zionist enemy and herds of criminal settlers.”
Zubeidi’s brother Zakaria escaped from Gilboa Prison along with three other security prisoners in September. He was once considered a “symbol of the Intifada,” but renounced militancy over a decade ago and was awarded clemency by Israel after he agreed to give up arms.
He had been arrested by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) in 2019 following intelligence that he was planning a serious attack in the West Bank and for two shooting attacks against Israeli buses in the West Bank near Beit El and Psagot.
During the clashes in which Zubeidi was injured, YAMAM counterterrorism officer Sgt.-Maj. Noam Raz was shot and critically wounded. He was evacuated to Rambam hospital by helicopter where he succumbed to his wounds.
A senior IDF officer told journalists that said he was shot in the back as forces were leaving the village under fire.“I’ve been through everything over the past 20 years, but there were thousands of bullets fired towards us and our vehicles this morning,” he said. “It was indescribable.”
Raz was buried on Sunday morning on Mount Herzl with hundreds of mourners in attendance.Security forces have been on high alert across the country as Israeli Arabs and Palestinians mark Nakba Day – the 74th anniversary of what the Arab world refer to as “the catastrophe” following the founding in 1948 of the State of Israel.
Tensions are already high following a spate of deadly terrorist attacks that have killed 19 people in Israel.