Dozens of armed Palestinians marched in Jenin Sunday evening following the death of Daoud Zubeidi, the brother of a notorious Palestinian terror chief, days after he was injured in a gun battle with Israeli troops in the northern West Bank city.
Zubeidi died earlier Sunday in a Haifa hospital where he was being treated for his wounds.
Among those who participated in the procession, alongside masked gunmen, was the father of Ra’ad Hazem, the Palestinian terrorist who killed three people in an April terror attack in Tel Aviv, Channel 13 news reported.
Zubeidi, 40, was among 13 Palestinian gunmen reportedly injured on Friday in fierce exchanges of fire with Israeli troops in and around the city of Jenin in the West Bank, during an arrest operation carried out by police special forces and the Israeli military.
After he was critically wounded in the gun battle on Friday, Zubeidi was taken to a local hospital for treatment, but when his condition deteriorated, he was transferred to Rambam Hospital in Haifa.
Israeli officials are currently debating returning Zubeidi’s body to the Palestinians, according to the Ynet news site.
Palestinian terror groups in Jenin — including both the loosely Fatah-linked Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and Islamic Jihad’s Al-Quds Brigades — threatened to “open the gates of hell” should Zubeidi come to harm while in Israeli custody.
Israeli police commando Noam Raz, 47, was killed during the same gun battle on Friday. Raz was buried in the police cemetery on Mount Zion on Sunday in a private funeral, away from the press. Raz’s son lamented the fact that his father and Zakaria could both be treated at the same hospital for their wounds.
Zubeidi’s brother, Zakaria, is notorious for masterminding terror attacks during the Second Intifada. A child actor who turned to violence, Zakaria Zubeidi became a senior commander in the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. He frequently gave interviews to Israeli media and became a familiar face to the Israeli public.
In 2007, the Shin Bet security service and the Palestinian Authority reached an amnesty deal for thousands of Palestinians who had fought against Israel during the wave of violence. Zakaria Zubeidi was one of them, and founded a so-called “Freedom Theater” in Jenin with a director of both Jewish and Arab Israeli heritage, Juliano Mer-Khamis.
Over a decade later, Israeli forces apprehended Zakaria Zubeidi, accusing him of having resumed his terror activities. The Shin Bet security service later said Zubeidi had confessed to two shooting attacks on buses outside the Beit El settlement in the central West Bank in November 2018 and January 2019 that wounded three people.
While still awaiting trial in September 2021, Zubeidi fled Gilboa jail — along with five other high-risk Palestinian security prisoners — in an escape that transfixed Israelis and Palestinians for weeks before his ultimate recapture.
Israel has recently stepped up its operations in the West Bank and especially in the Jenin area, from which several terrorists behind recent deadly attacks carried out in Israel hailed. The violence has left 19 dead in central Israeli cities since March 22, in the bloodiest wave of terrorism in years.
Around 30 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the same period; some perpetrated the attacks, while others died during violent clashes. Still others were uninvolved civilians, such as Al-Jazeera journalist Shirin Abu Akleh, who was fatally shot under disputed circumstances in Jenin last week.