PFLP threatens escalation after leader put in solitary confinement in Israeli prison

Palestinian terror group warns of ‘painful’ response if anything happens to Ahmad Saadat, says another 2 of its jailed members have also been moved

Palestinian supporters of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hold posters of the party's leader Ahmad Saadat, who is currently jailed in Israel, as they call for his release of during a protest in the West Bank city of Nablus, March 15, 2010. The Arabic text on the poster reads "Our compass doesn't point anywhere except to Palestine." (AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)
Supporters of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hold posters of the terror group's leader Ahmad Saadat, who is jailed in Israel, as they call for his release of during a protest in the West Bank city of Nablus, March 15, 2010. The Arabic text on the poster reads "Our compass doesn't point anywhere except to Palestine". (AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) threatened an escalation in violence Monday after the terror group’s leader was sent to solitary confinement in an Israeli prison.

In a press conference in Gaza, the organization warned that it would hold Israel “fully responsible” if anything happened to secretary-general Ahmad Saadat after he was moved from general quarters at the Ramon Prison.

“Our response will be painful,” PFLP member Awad al-Sultan said.

There was no immediate comment from the Israel Prison Service.

The terror group didn’t state a specific reason for why it believes the prison authorities moved Saadat, who is serving a 30-year sentence for his role in the 2001 assassination of Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Ze’evi, but appeared to link it to Israeli military operations in the West Bank amid a series of deadly Palestinian terror attacks.

“You will not undermine our determination and will,” al-Sultan added.

Illustrative: A gunman from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group participates in a rally at the Jabaliya Refugee Camp, in the northern Gaza Strip, March 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

The PFLP said that two of its other members had been transferred from their cells: Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, who was also convicted over Ze’evi’s killing, and Walid Muhammad Hanatsheh, who is accused of orchestrating a bombing attack outside a West Bank settlement in 2019 that killed Israeli teenager Rina Shnerb.

The move came the same day the Shin Bet announced it arrested six members of a PFLP terror cell accused of attempting to carry out a bombing attack on a bus in March and planning further attacks in the West Bank. According to the Shin Bet, the attempted attack revealed a widespread PFLP terror network in the West Bank that is directed by PFLP officials, including members jailed in Israel.

It also came after Saadat recently granted an unauthorized interview to an Algerian newspaper, in which he warned of a potential “third intifada,” or uprising, and said there had been no marked change in conditions for Palestinian security prisoners since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline government took power in late December.

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