[Ppnews] Israeli court denies Ahmed Saadat bail

Political Prisoner News PPnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Mar 28 12:46:47 EST 2006


Israeli court denies Ahmed Saadat bail

Monday 27 March 2006 8:18 PM GMT

An Israeli military court has turned down a request for bail by Ahmed 
Saadat, a Palestinian resistance fighter snatched earlier this month 
from a Palestinian prison.

Led past reporters into court, manacled hand and foot, Saadat raised 
his hands in a gesture of defiance and shouted in Arabic, "I am 
fighting occupation!" before he was silenced by guards and led into 
the closed courtroom.

Saadat is a leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Saadat and four of his alleged accomplices in the 2001 assassination 
of Rehavam Zeevi, an Israeli cabinet minister, were seized in an army 
swoop on Jericho prison. At his brief court appearance Saadat refused 
to recognise the military tribunal's authority to try him and the 
judge, in turn, refused to hear his bail application.

The Israeli army stormed the prison on 14 March, two weeks before 
Israel's general election. The raid boosted Ehud Olmert, the acting 
Israeli prime minister's image as a tough-minded leader.

Shaul Mofaz, the Israeli defence minister and a member of Olmert's 
centrist Kadima party, dismissed allegations that the operation, 
which involved 1000 troops, was timed to win over hardline voters.

But the raid angered Palestinians, and embarrassed Mahmoud Abbas, the 
Palestinian president, who labeled it an "unforgivable crime" and "an 
insult to the Palestinian people".

The raid triggered unprecedented Palestinian reprisals against 
foreigners, because British wardens - who along with American 
monitors had supervised the Jericho prisoners under an unusual 2002 
arrangement - left their posts just before Israeli troops arrived.

Armed men vandalised Western offices and kidnapped 11 foreigners, 
including an American university professor. All were released within a day.

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