Israel Police officers probed for 'beating' Gilboa Prison escapee - report

Zakaria Zubeidi, a Fatah commander who was responsible for multiple terrorist attacks, was the most prominent of the six escapees.

Zakariya Zubeidi, then-leader of the al-Aqsa martyrs brigades looks on during a demonstration supporting Palestinian prisoners in the West Bank city of Jenin, February 10, 2005 (photo credit: REUTERS/SAEED DAHLAN)
Zakariya Zubeidi, then-leader of the al-Aqsa martyrs brigades looks on during a demonstration supporting Palestinian prisoners in the West Bank city of Jenin, February 10, 2005
(photo credit: REUTERS/SAEED DAHLAN)

Israel's Police Investigations Department have begun investigating a complaint against police officers in Israel Police's Counterterrorism Unit who recaptured Zakaria Zubeidi, one of the six Palestinian security prisoners who escaped from Gilboa Prison, amid allegations that they had used excessive force in recapturing him, Ynet broke.

Zubeidi, a Fatah commander who was responsible for multiple terrorist attacks, was the most prominent of the six.

Rumors had begun to spread following his arrest that Zubeidi was in critical condition, or possibly even dead, which had subsequently sparked riots among Palestinians. However, Israeli officials denied these claims and made it clear that Zubeidi was in good health and not hospitalized.

Pictures had circulated after the arrest of Zubeidi's swollen face, and his lawyer alleges that the soldiers injured his head.

Police claimed the prisoner had resisted arrest and was subsequently injured, and have voiced their displeasure with the decision to investigate, according to Ynet.

 Border Police Commander Amir Cohen with the two Border Police officers who killed the Damascus Gate terrorist on December 4, 2021  (credit: BORDER POLICE SPOKESPERSON) Border Police Commander Amir Cohen with the two Border Police officers who killed the Damascus Gate terrorist on December 4, 2021 (credit: BORDER POLICE SPOKESPERSON)

This is not the first time such displeasure was voiced in an investigation into conduct when dealing with terrorists.

In December, Border Police officers were investigated due to their handling of a terrorist incident outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, where they killed 25-year-old Mohammed Shawkat Salima while he was laying on the ground.

Though the incident became incredibly divisive among Israelis and Israeli politicians, the two officers were cleared and praised by Border Police Commander Amir Cohen for their conduct.

Tzvi Joffre contributed to this report.