A deported Palestinian escaped an assassination attempt on Thursday morning in a drive-by shooting in Ireland sources in Dublin reported.According to sources, Jihad Ja’ara from Bethlehem, escaped an assassination attempt and the Irish police arrested two suspects. The names of the two are not released, however media sources claim one of them is a Palestinian from Gaza who has European citizenship and the other is a Moroccan with French citizenship.

A Palestinian source in Ireland reported that while Ja’ara was making his way on Wednesday to the PLO embassy building, shots were fired at him from a passing car, but he escaped unharmed.

Immediately afterwards, another vehicle crashed into Ja’ara's car, forcing it off the road and into a nearby valley. Jaara was lightly injured, and police officers who were in the area chased the other car and detained the two suspects.

Palestinian sources in Ireland declared that this was undoubtedly an assassination attempt by the Israeli secret service known as ‘The Shin Bet’.

The car the suspects were riding in contained the photos of three of the Palestinians sent to exile following the siege on the Church of the Nativity – a photo of Ja’ara, a photo of Ibrahim Abayat who was expelled to Spain, and a photo of Mahmoud Said who was sent to Italy.

Ja’ara himself refused to talk to the media, and according to Palestinian sources in Ireland, he was asked not to give any interviews.

40 Palestinians, most of them Fatah members, were expelled from the West Bank in May 2002 following a siege on the Church of the Nativity. Twenty-six men were sent to the Gaza Strip and 13 others to European countries, where they reside to this day.

The Palestinians have been raising issue of the forced expulsions in almost every meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, but it has yet to be resolved.

The Israeli government firmly refuses to let the exiles return from Europe to the West Bank, and the possibility of sending them to Gaza has also been rejected time and again.

This is the second time Ja’ara escapes assassination in the past three years. Last time was in 2005. More on the story in the link below.