Palestinian security forces made numerous arrests in the Jenin area on Saturday night in what officials described as the largest operation mounted by PA forces. Palestinian sources said that 60 people had been arrested and that some of the arrests of top officials required the personal approval of President Mahmoud Abbas.
Among the detainees is former al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades commander Zakaria Zubeidi.
According to reports, Zubeidi and other Fatah members were placed in custody in the Jericho Prison and removed from Jenin over fears of riots in the operation's aftermath.
On Wednesday, Jenin Governor Kadura Musa died of a heart attack shortly after gunmen fired at his house. The Jenin police chief said that Palestinian forces had also arrested suspects in the incident and had seized weapons.
He said that it was still unclear who fired at Musa's house. Palestinian sources estimated that Zubeidi's arrest is somehow linked to the firing incident but that there is no proof as of yet.
Palestinian forces arrested Zubeidi last December claiming that Israel had told them it had revoked the Fatah commander's pardon.
Zubeidi was told that the arrest was meant for his own protection.
Israeli authorities refused to comment on the report. However, rumors surfaced suggesting that the pardon's revocation was an excuse to arrest Zubeidi who had been wanted by the Palestinians for using his private weapon against national security forces.