Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

Security Chaos

Attacks on International Organizations and Persons

Field Update

24 January 2007



French Vice-Consul and Guards Released after being Held for Hours in Nablus

In the evening of Tuesday, 23 January 2007, an armed group affiliated with Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah, released the French vice-consul and his two guards in Nablus. The trio was detained in Nablus for hours as they were suspected of being undercover Israeli army operatives.

PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 14:15 on Tuesday, an armed group of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades kidnapped three French nationals in the Shuhada Square area in the center of Nablus. They were taken to an undisclosed location in the old city of Nablus. Eye witnesses stated that Palestinian Police drove the Frenchmen’s car, an armored jeep, to the Police Station in Faisal Street in Nablus. However, gunmen burned the vehicle after it was parked in front of the Police Station.

At approximately 18:00, the kidnappers released the three Frenchmen after it became clear that they were the French vice-consul and two guards. The French consul arrived in Nablus and verified the identity of his countrymen. In a press conference, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades stated that they believed the three Frenchmen to be Israeli undercover operatives because they were armed, and were in a sensitive area for wanted Palestinians.

PCHR strongly condemns all crimes and transgressions of the rule of law. These crimes are a continuum of the security chaos plaguing the OPT, especially over the past two years, in the absence of serious legal measures by the PNA to prosecute perpetrators and bring them to justice.




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