Israeli forces stormed a Palestinian jail in the West Bank town of Jericho on Tuesday, just after British and US forces, who were monitoring it, deserted the complex. At least one Palestinian police officer and one prisoner were killed by the Israelis.
The Israelis’ target was Ahmed Saadat, head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who was elected to the Palestinian parliament in January.
British and US observers, who have been monitoring the jail since 2002, left only an hour before the Israeli assault.
Respect MP George Galloway has demanded that foreign secretary Jack Straw intervenes. “Reports say that British and American personnel apparently disappeared shortly before the attack,” he said.
“These personnel were there by international agreement concluded with the late President Arafat and the Palestine National Authority. What has happened today makes a mockery of your so called ‘international community’ and its ‘undertakings’.
“If Ahmed Saadat and his fellow prisoners are murdered today… the British and American governments which undertook to protect them will share responsibility for this crime.”