Palestinian Militants Release Governor
NABLUS, West Bank â€” Palestinian militants beat and briefly held the Palestinian governor of a West Bank (search) town on Saturday, accusing him of being an Israeli collaborator. He was released after about five hours, a militant leader said.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade (search) took Haider Irsheid, 50, captive and took him to a refugee camp adjacent to the town of Jenin. Al Aqsa's Jenin leader, Zakariye Zubeydi, demanded the Palestinian Authority (search) put Irsheid on trial.
Several hours later, however, Zubeydi said he released Irsheid after a call from an unidentified official at Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's (search) office. Al Aqsa is loosely affiliated with Arafat's Fatah movement.
"For me, Arafat's order is not up for negotiation," Zubeydi told The Associated Press. "So I released him immediately."
The militant leader said he would leave the responsibility for judging Irsheid to Arafat. "I think he will take the right decision," Zubeydi said.
Zubeydi had said earlier that Palestinian security officials asked on behalf of Arafat for Irsheid's release. Instead, Zubeydi urged Arafat's Palestinian Authority to send a mediator to question the governor and listen to militants' demands. It was unclear why Zubeydi changed his mind.
Palestinian Information Minister Nabil Amr said the kidnapping was "a regrettable situation. "It will be solved, and this type of behavior will not be allowed," he said.
The abduction comes as Israel and the Palestinians are trying to maintain a temporary cease-fire declared by the main militant groups and to push ahead with a U.S.-backed peace plan intended to lead to a Palestinian state by 2005.
A Palestinian security source said militants had been angered when Palestinian security forces in Jenin were sent on Friday to arrest an Al Aqsa gunman in the refugee camp.
Oh boy! What a civil society ready for their own organized state!
Just take one of your own and beat him until Arafat calls you. I believe this is yet another blatant example of how the Pals keep breaking the rules of the Roadmap.