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Israel to try Palestinians seized from Jericho prison

[JURIST] Acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert [BBC profile] said Wednesday that Israel plans to put a group of Palestinian prisoners [backgrounder] on trial for the 2001 killing of an Israeli tourism minister. The men were seized after Israeli forces stormed a Palestinian prison [JURIST report; IDF press release] in the West Bank Tuesday. Olmert vowed that the men will be "indicted according to Israeli law and they will be punished as they deserve," but certain legal obstacles need to be overcome before that can happen. Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said Wednesday that legal authorities must determine if Ahmed Saadat [BBC profile], leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, can be retried.

The raid by Israeli forces came shortly after US and UK withdrew prison monitors [UK FCO statement] at the Jericho prison, citing security concerns. Olmert said that the raid was prompted by the Palestinian Authority's failure to provide adequate security at the prison. Haaretz has more.

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