Israel will “pay dearly” for the siege of the Jericho prison and the capture of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine leader Ahmed Saadat, who is behind the murder of Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi, the PFLP warned Tuesday evening
A senior member of the organization’s military wing warned during a televised interview with al-Arabiya that if Saadat was physically harmed, the group would respond severely.
The PFLP said it would not sit by passively after the events Tuesday in Jericho.
“We will respond, and we will respond harshly, whether Saadat is harmed or not,” the official said.
Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council representing the PFLP, told Ynet, “Saadat was the winning card for Olmert in the elections. We demand of the international community to fulfill its obligations and responsibilities towards the Palestinian people against the crimes of the occupation.”
Jarrar also directed some of her fury towards the Palestinian Authority.
“We always warned that the political detention would end badly. There was no rationale behind Saadat’s imprisonment. We said from the beginning that the agreements with Israel, overseen by the United States and Britain, had no chance of holding true, and the proof comes today as Israel violates its side of the agreement.”
Jarrar added that the PFLP appealed to all the embassies and diplomatic offices in the PA, as well as to human rights organizations and peace groups – including the Red Cross – demanding they act to ensure Saadat's safety.
Saadat, Secretary-General of the PFLP, and five of his colleagues, all linked to the murder of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi, turned themselves in to the IDF after a day-long standoff in which the army seized the Jericho prison compound, demanding the their surrender. The six exited the prison with their arms raised and were taken into IDF custody.
In a press briefing after the conclusion of the operation, OC Central Command Yair Naveh said: “Since the fugitives understood that the IDF’s determination was absolute, they came out, and thankfully, there were a minimum of casualties.”
There was no coordination between Israel, Britain and the United States for the capture of the terrorists, Naveh told reporters. “We’ve been preparing for weeks, since the Palestinians said hey planned to release Saadat, so we were on high alert. The British sent a letter to the PA a few weeks ago addressing the matter. As soon as we saw (the British and Americans) left, we went in,” he said.