Zacharia Zubeidi, a former commander with the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades turned policeman, recently traded in his police uniform in favor of a position with the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Prisoner Affairs.
Zubeidi, formerly a commander in Fatah's military wing in Jenin, was imprisoned and set free by Israel in 2007 after agreeing to lay down his weapons. He has since been serving as a police officer for the PA.
Two months ago Zubeidi resigned from his position to begin a new career as an official in the Ministry of Prisoner Affairs. In an interview with Ynet he said the new position suited him far better than the old one. "In a little while I'll have my own office where I can work," he said.
It is still unclear whether the new office will be located in Ramallah or Jenin, but in any case the former terrorist says much of his work will be in the field.
"I will serve the public and the applicants on the matters of prisoner affairs and their problems, especially when I begin working out of the office," he said.
For now Zubeidi says he is making rounds to visit prisoners' families. "I will serve and improve the status of the families of prisoners, who are a valuable part of the Palestinian people, the part with the most painful problem," he said.
Zubeidi says he retired from his position with the PA's security forces after a bill prohibiting security personnel from engaging in public services was passed.
"On one hand, I couldn't break the law but on the other hand, I couldn't give up the contact with the needy prisoners' families," he explained.
Zubeidi claims the new position will broaden his horizons. "All of my friends from the resistance currently serve in the security forces, but I chose a civil career, because that's where I can contribute to things I believe in," he said.