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Israel cancels pardon of former militant leader

Dec. 29, 2011 5:42 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 1, 2012 11:56 A.M.)
JENIN (Ma'an) -- Israel has canceled the pardon of a former Fatah militant leader in Jenin and instructed him to hand himself in to the Palestinian Authority, he told Ma'an on Thursday.

Zakaria Zubeidi, who headed the Al-Aqsa Brigades during the second intifada and set up The Freedom Theater in Jenin, said he had stuck to all the conditions of the amnesty deal granted him by Israel three years ago.

Israel informed Palestinian Authority security forces on Thursday that Zubeidi's pardon had been revoked, and that Israeli forces would detain him if he did not turn himself in, Zubeidi told Ma'an.

An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to comment on the matter.

Zubeidi established the ground-breaking theater in Jenin refugee camp in 2006 with Juliano Mer-Khamis, who was shot dead outside the venue in April.

He led the Fatah-affiliated brigades during some of the fiercest fighting of the intifada, or uprising, and was wanted by Israel for many years before authorities granted pardons to hundreds of Fatah militants in 2007.

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