The leftists Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) reported that it is waiting for the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, to order the release of the PFLP secretary general, Ahmad Saadat.Saadat is imprisoned in a Palestinian Prison guarded by British and American troops in Jericho. He was accused of planning the assassination of the Israeli Minister of Tourism, Rahba’am Zeevi, who was assassinated at a Jerusalem hotel in 2001.

Abbas said that he does not object the release of Saadat but will not release him until he receives guarantees from the Political Bureau of the PFLP that he [Abbas] will not be blamed to any harm Saadat may face, especially if Israel assassinates him.

Several Israeli senior officials, including the Israeli Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz, threatened to assassinate Saadat if he was released.  

Jamil Majdlawai, member of the PFLP Political Bureau, said that the PFLP is willing to meet Abbas to make the needed arrangements for the release of Saadat.

Saadat, and a number of his comrades, were arrested by the Palestinian Authority and placed in the Jericho Prison in Jericho after they were removed from the Palestinian headquarters in Ramallah where the late Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat, was surrounded and isolated by Israeli tanks and soldiers until his sickness and death in a French Hospital.     

The PFLP said at the time that it assassinated Zeevi in response to Israel’s assassination of Abu Ali Mustafa, one of the political leaders of the PFLP.