The stabbing was the latest in a series of deadly assaults deep inside the country in recent weeks. It came as Israeli-Palestinian tensions were already heightened by violence at a major holy site in Jerusalem sacred to Jews and Muslims.
“We will continue to chase determinedly those who wish the worst upon us at all times, and we will reach them,” Public Security Minister Omer Barlev said in a statement.
A joint statement by police, the military and the Shin Bet internal security agency said the men, identified as 19- and 20-year-old Palestinians, were caught near a quarry not far from Elad following a search that began Thursday by special forces and commando units using helicopters and other means.
As forces scoured the area looking for the men, police called on the public to avoid the area, and urged Israelis to report suspicious vehicles or people to them.
Police said the attackers were from the town of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, which has re-emerged as a militant bastion in the latest wave of violence – the worst Israel has seen in years. Several of the attackers in the recent violence have come from Jenin.
At least 18 Israelis have been killed in five attacks since March, including another stabbing rampage in southern Israel, two shootings in the Tel Aviv area, and a shooting last weekend in a West Bank settlement.
Nearly 30 Palestinians have died in violence – most of whom had carried out attacks or were involved in confrontations with Israeli forces in the West Bank. But an unarmed woman and two apparent bystanders were also among those killed and rights groups say Israel often uses excessive force.