Shin Bet: Dozens of Fatah fugitives pardoned

Fatah members who rejected terror taken off wanted list in accordance with deal struck with PA.

al aksa nablus 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
al aksa nablus 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Dozens of Fatah members have been removed from Israel's "wanted" list under the auspices of an agreement reached in July between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) officials confirmed late Monday. Three months ago Israel and the PA struck a deal stipulating that if the fugitives handed in their weapons and abjured terror, they would be taken off Israel's list of wanted terrorists. The list included 170 members of Fatah and Fatah-affiliated groups, some as well-known as Zakariya Zubeidi, head of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades in Jenin. Army Radio quoted sources in Israel's security establishment as saying that while the Palestinian Authority's law enforcement ability was extremely limited, and PA security had to force the fugitives to surrender their weapons, it appeared that the "spirit of the deal" had taken effect. Some of the formerly wanted individuals had shown self-restraint, they said. The security sources pointed out that the small number of Fatah-affiliated recidivists had been arrested by the IDF. In the meantime, Israel's security establishment has continued to encourage the plan, out of belief that it can cause other fugitives to abandon terror.