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In apparent first, Interpol member state arrests fugitive at PA’s behest

Ramallah, which joined group last year, issues few details about man convicted of rape collared at an international airport

Adam Rasgon is the Palestinian affairs reporter at The Times of Israel

Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France (CC BY-SA Massimiliano Mariani/Wikipedia)
Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France (CC BY-SA Massimiliano Mariani/Wikipedia)

An Interpol member state arrested a male fugitive convicted of rape at the behest of the Palestinian Authority, Ramallah said on Tuesday.

Despite Israel’s opposition, the PA was admitted to Interpol, an international policing group, in September 2017.

Interpol had alerted its member states of a Palestinian arrest warrant for the convict, after the PA Attorney General’s Office had requested it do so, a statement from that office said.

Illustrative photo of Palestinians seen in Manara square at the center of Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian Authority, February 14, 2015. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

The statement did not identify the name of the man or the interpol member state that arrested him. However, it mentioned that he was detained at an international airport.

Until Tuesday, the PA had not publicly reported any arrests carried out by Interpol member states at its behest.

The PA Attorney General’s Office is currently working to bring the convict to the West Bank “to the take necessary legal measures against him,” the statement added, without elaborating.

In September 2017, a senior Palestinian official told the Associated Press that the Palestinians would attempt to extradite Mohammed Dahlan, one of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s top political rivals, back to the West Bank through Interpol.

In late 2016, a PA court sentenced Dahlan to three years in prison on corruption charges. One of Dahlan’s lawyers told Agence France-Presse that the court’s ruling was a part of “Abbas’s ‘liquidation plan’ at the expense of his opponents.”

Dahlan fled the West Bank in 2011 after a raid on his home by forces loyal to Abbas.

During a speech in front of a top PLO-body in late April, PA President Mahmoud Abbas suggested that the Palestinians would work with Interpol to repatriate 100 persons who he described as convicts. He did not mention specific names.

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