Israel violates amnesty deal, arrests ex-Palestinian fighters

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A Palestinian demonstrator from the West Bank village of Deir Jarir, northeast of Ramallah, waves the Fatah movement flag as he marches with fellow protestors against construction on their land by members of the nearby Jewish settlement of Ofra on 26 April 2013. (Photo: AFP - Abbas Momani)

Published Monday, May 13, 2013

Fighting broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinian residents of the Jenin refugee camp following the arrest of two members of al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, local media reported.

Soldiers raided the camp at 4 am and detained Raed Amin Dababa and Mohammed al-Amer in violation of a 2007 amnesty deal provided to them in exchange for giving up arms.

The two men – who are exempt from arrest under a deal signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority – had their houses raided and searched before being detained.

Residents of the camp told Ma’an news agency that a military convoy was seen at the camp as helicopters hovered overhead.

Clashes broke out after Israeli forces were seen deployed around the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ cemetery, the agency reported.

Soldiers used live fire and tear gas against the locals. No one was injured.

Forces also arrested Monday Walid Mohammed al-Hajj, an Imam of a local mosque, east of Jenin, Wafa news agency reported. Three others were arrested across the West Bank.

The 2007 amnesty deal encouraged Palestinian resistance fighters to abandon armed struggle in exchange for amnesty from Israeli prisons.

The commander of the Fatah-offshoot movement, Zakariya Zubeidi, recently told Ma’an that Israeli forces were targeting affiliated members exempt from arrest in the Jenin camp.

The group was founded in 2000.

Marwan Barghouti, a former Fatah member accused by Israel to have led the brigades, was arrested in 2002 and sentenced to five life sentences and 40 years in prison.

(Ma’an, Al-Akhbar)

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