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PA expected to release Freedom Theatre's Zubeidi, 7 other prisoners

12:00 Aug 18 2012 Jericho

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JERICHO (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority is expected to release eight Palestinians held in a Jericho jail on Saturday evening, including prominent Jenin figure Zakaria Zubeidi.

PA Interior Minister Said Abu Ali ordered the group of detainees released on bail until Wednesday pending their trials, informed sources told Ma'an.

Detainees contacted by Ma'an confirmed they were undergoing release procedures, but could not provide further details.

Among the group is Zubeidi, known for his role in the second Intifada against Israeli occupation when he led the Fatah-linked al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

Zubeidi launched a hunger strike on Friday, appealing to President Mahmoud Abbas to release him and others seized during a recent security campaign in the West Bank.

His brother Abdul Rahman Zubeidi told Ma'an Zakaria had launched the strike because of the lack of due process in his case. He said Zakaria had been subjected to torture and abuse while in jail.

Zubeidi was first reported to have been detained over three months ago.

The PA launched a security crackdown in the West Bank in May, arresting scores of suspects in a security sweep that has prompted some anger at President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah-led government.
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