Israel says it wants six Palestinians incarcerated with U.S. and British supervision: four militants convicted last week of the killing of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavaam Zeevi in October 2001; Ahmed Saadat, the leader of the group to which the four belong, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; and Fuad Shubeiki — an official of the Palestinian Authority linked by Israel to the arms shipment from Iran that Israel had seized earlier this year aboard the Karine A.
The Palestinians, for their part, insist that only the four convicted by the hastily assembled court in Arafat’s compound are covered by the deal. Three were convicted of murdering Zeevi, and one of assisting them. “Shubeiki and Saadat were not involved in killing Zeevi; they are part of the political Palestinian leadership and they should not remain behind bars,” said Palestinian Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo early Tuesday.
Announcing the deal Sunday, U.S. President George W. Bush was clear that all six of the men wanted by Israel — who have been in Arafat’s compound throughout the siege — are covered by the agreement.