(photo credit: ISRAEL PRISON SERVICE)
A Palestinian fugitive who has taken refuge at the Palestinian Authority's consulate in Sofia, Bulgaria has been given 72 hours to turn himself in for extradition to Israel or face arrest, Al Jazeera reported Friday.
Omar Nayef Zayed, 52, escaped from Israeli custody over 25 years ago after being convicted of murdering an Israeli yeshiva student in 1986.
Israeli authorities made a formal request for the fugitive's return on December 15, 2015. Omar Zayed "has refused to turn himself in," according to Zayed's brother, Hamza, who spoke to Al Jazeera from Amman, Jordan.
Zayed is "a political fighter who defended the Palestinian cause" and he "poses no danger" to Israel today, Hamza added.
Zayed has been living in Sofia since 1994 and has Bulgarian residency while his wife and three children all carry Bulgarian citizenship, according to Al Jazeera.
Two days after Israel demanded Zayed's return, Bulgarian authorities raided his home, arresting his 18-year-old son while Zayed was given succor at the PA consulate.
Zayed escaped prison in 1990 after eluding guards during a hospital visit, making his way to Bulgaria four years later where he was granted residency.
In a statement released by PA envoy to Bulgaria, Ahmad Madbough, said the consulate does not intend to comply with the extradition order and has yet to turn Zayed over to Bulgarian authorities.