An interview conducted by Palestine News Network with the leader of the Aqsa Martyrs brigades, Zakaria Al-Zubeidi in which he talks about the intended handover of control in Jenin over to the Palestinian Authority.

Al-Zubeidi is wanted by Israel since the first Intifada and in the second Intifada he became wanted number one. He managed to escape several assassination and arrest attempts. The Israeli army killed four of his family members including his mother and a brother. Besides, three of his brothers are in Israeli jails sentenced for long terms after the Israeli army demolished their home in Jenin refugee camp.

Al-Zubeidi is 27 years old, married and have two children a boy named Mohammad 2 years and a girl named Samira and she is 2 months old only.

Would he and many like him be able to live freely with their families without being worried about being hunted by the Israeli army?

Click next to read the interview

{mospagebreak}Q. There is a talk about an Isreli withdrawal from Jenin, and you are wanted number one for Israel, how do you feel about that?

A. It is not about feelings, it is an attitude. Until we get our independence and establish the Palestinian State with east Jerusalem as its capital we regard Israel as “not trust worthy enemy”, who does not respect agreements and promises. There is a big concern that Israel will continue to target the resistance fighters. There is always a need to evaluate and modify ways of dealing the Israeli government.

Q. As a wanted Palestinians, what are you demands to feel that the Jenin withdrawal is meaningful?

A. What is needed is a full withdrawal from all the Palestinian lands and to build a sovereign Palestinian state on its land that has control over its borders and territories. This will enable Palestinians, whether they were wanted or not to move freely. Besides we demand an immediate release for all the Palestinian and Arab prisoners in Israeli jails.

There might be a withdrawal from Jenin, however, there will be no freedom of movement. My question here is would my mates and I be able to move freely in the West Bank and would we be able to go to the Gaza Strip or travel outside the country? I believe this will not happen. Therefore, given the current situation, this partial withdrawal will not make any positive change in our life, because the occupation is not over. The withdrawal, however, may create some calm in the streets of Jenin.

Q. So, what would you do after the withdrawal, Israel will leave and the PA will come?

A. The Aqsa Martyr Brigades is not against any withdrawal from any single inch in occupied Palestine. However, we will resume the resistance until we put an end to the Israeli occupation. We will respect the Palestinian Authority and will also respect its laws and regulations, and will work to maintain the rule of law. We will fully cooperate with the PA and its security forces to end chaos as well.

Q. There are talks about merging you with the PA security forces and dissolve the Aqsa Martyr Brigades, what do you think about this?

A. There is no deal about this. Every member of the Brigades has the right to a good life with his family. All fighters have the right to join the security forces if they want.

Q. Is it true that you have submitted a list to the PA containing the names of the wanted fighters, which had a positive response by the PA, and those on the list will be absorbed by the security forces?

A. This is true, however this not the end of the Brigades. There is a political program for the PA that guides the negotiations with Israel. We declared calm now, to give a chance for the political process to move forward.

Q. What are your demands and rights?

A. We have no personal demands, no high posts or money or special privileges. We want justice and freedom. Our rights are those of the Palestinian People, we are part of it. We are willing to give chance for the political process; however this requires an Israeli commitment. If Israel insists to resume the assassination and arrests and keeps denying our basic rights as Palestinians, there will be no calm or peace in the Middle East.

{mospagebreak}Q. What is your fate after the withdrawal? Are you going to be absorbed in the security forces?

A. I want to make it clear again that the withdrawal does not mean the dismantling of the Aqsa Brigades. It is our right, like any other Palestinian, to occupy jobs in the PA. Besides, about me personally, I tried to ensure my comrades first, I am not someone who likes to show off and I am not an opportunist. I say that like my comrades, I have the right to occupy a job in the one of the PA institutions and I think of joining the police.

Q. So, do we expect you to become a police officer if Israel committed to the withdrawal from Jenin?

A. Yes, I have chosen to join the police, because I believe this one of the good ways that will enable me to serve my people and be with them when they need me.

Q. When would Zakaria Al-Zubeidi lay down his arms?

A. I want to point that our arms are hour honor, so we do not lay them aside. However the question should be framed differently. If you ask me when I would stop pulling the trigger, I would say, only when I see the Palestinian state is established and all prisoners released and the refugees return to their stolen land.

Q. Do you think Israel will put a time table for the release of the prisoners and take steps to enforce the calm and withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza Strip?

A. Frankly, the ball is in their field now; they have to appreciate the high price the resistance paid during the calm. If Sharon’s government doe not start implementing the understandings and the decisions that the calm was based on, they will harm their people. In a nutshell, there will be no stabilization or calm in Israel if Sharon resumes his crazy policies.

Q. What would you tell the Israeli people?

A. I would say that the latest calm and quite in Jenin is not a submission to Israel’s policy, the volcano in Jenin is boiling, but hiding underground. Israel knows exactly what this volcano can do. Therefore, the Israeli people need to force their government to end the occupation because we can not keep this volcano boiling underground. It will explode if not calmed down. If it explodes, the occupation must get ready for the price it will pay. It will explode only if Israel washes its hands from the calm or their duties towards peace in the region.