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June 20, 2005

Zubeidi, Terrorist-cum-Cop

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Zubeidi's scarred face is the result of a work accident. Photo by Reuters.

Ynetnews.com has just reported that Zakariya Zubeidi, the head of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in Jenin, is joining Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' security forces. Ynet reports:

Zakariya Zubeidi, the senior commander of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the town of Jenin who has masterminded dozens of deadly anti-Israeli attacks, told Ynet that as a policeman, he will still not work to stop terrorists, as demanded by Israel and the United States and dictated by a U.S.-backed peace “road map”.

"I’m not going to stop any Palestinian activist,” he said. “It’s obvious for Palestinians that there are no arrests on political backgrounds. We will deal with maintaining law and order and the security of the Palestinian people.”

What's Zubeidi's idea of "maintaining law and order"? If his past exploits are any indication, the severe beating of Haidar Irsheid, the former governor of Jenin, is worthy of consideration.

According to a July 25, 2003 Jerusalem Post article, Zubeidi

and some 20 of his followers staged what is being described as a successful coup in the city. Armed with M-16s, Kalashnikovs and pistols, they dragged the Palestinian Authority’s governor for the Jenin district, Haidar Irsheid, from his home to the main square in the center of Jenin.

When some passersby and shopkeepers pleaded with them to have mercy on the 51-year-old Irsheid, who was still in his night clothes, the armed men responded by punching the governor in the face and beating him with rifle butts.

"This man is a spy for Israel," declared one of the masked Fatah gunmen. "He has stolen the money of the people. He must be punished."

The hammering lasted for about 15 minutes, after which the governor, bleeding from the head and crying, was bundled into a car and driven off to the narrow alleyways of the nearby refugee camp. His ordeal ended only five hours later, when Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat phoned Zubaidi and "ordered" him to release Irsheid.

(Hat tip: IMRA)

Posted by TS at June 20, 2005 05:47 AM