Bureau chief of Palestinian Prime minister Hassan Abu Libdah expressed concerns over chaos in the West Bank after the abduction of three internationals in Nablus and the burning of two PA offices in Jenin.
Abu Libdah described the abduction of internationals, who came to express solidarity with Palestinians, as dangerous, very serious, and could force more isolation on Palestinians.
After the abduction and release of three internationals in Nablus, a group of armed men, belonging to Fatah’s military wing torched both the governor office and that of the intelligence security in the West bank city of Jenin.
The leader of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades Zakariah Zubeidi told Al-Jazerah TV that his group torched the Intelligence security building because intelligence personnel were collecting information about his group rather than working to protect them.
3 Foreigners Released in Nablus, PA Office Torched in Jenin
Palestinian Security source reported that the three foreigners who were abducted late Friday night were released few hours later.
The three, an American, a Briton, and an Irishman, who have been working on an academic project at Al-Najah University, were taken by a group of gunmen as they returned to their residence. Several foreign women accompanying them were allowed to go free.
"We are safe and doing well," said the 22-year-old American after he was freed.
Nothing was reported on the motive behind the abduction, which some Palestinian sources believe was done by a splinter group of Al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades, the military wing of Fatah movement.
Also early Saturday, a group of gunmen torched a major government building in the West Bank town of Jenin.
A spokesman for the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades said the burning came in response to the appointment of Qaddura Musa as governor.
Local sources said that Musa, who was appointed by Palestinian President Yasser Arafat on Tuesday, refused to pay the salaries of members of the Brigades.
The two incidents came to confirm that the state of chaos in the Palestinian territories is still ongoing.
Earlier in the month groups of gunmen abducted and immediately released a group of foreigners and two PA top officials, torched and took over few PA official buildings, and organized wide protests against appointments of top security officials and wide scale corruption.
Arafat fired Gaza head of national security Ghazi Jabali, who was abducted then released after Arafat promised to replace him.
Yet, the appointment of Musa Arafat as the head of national security triggered more riots and forced Arafat to appoint Abdul Razaq Almajidah in his place.
In protest to the state of chaos and lack of real authority Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei submitted his resignation.
Qurei rescinded his resignation after Arafat agreed to hand over full authority over Police and internal security to the cabinet.
Even when all abductions ended quickly with the release of all hostages, and was seen as a warning move, the latest abduction in Nablus and attack in Jenin indicate that the PA is still running in a crisis situation.