[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
LANGUAGES
arabic
persian
pashto
turkish
french
Last Updated: Sunday, 3 August, 2003, 09:18 GMT 10:18 UK
Militants to stay in Arafat compound
Al-Aqsa militants look out from windows inside Arafat's compound prior to their arrest by Palestinian security forces
The men have been in the compound for months
Palestinian authorities have agreed to allow a group of arrested militants to remain inside Yasser Arafat's Ramallah compound instead of transferring them to a prison.

The deal was reached after the faction to which the men belong threatened to abandon a ceasefire and renew attacks on Israel.

The 17 men, who are wanted by Israel, were arrested by Palestinian security forces on Saturday, months after they took shelter in the compound, known as the Muqata.

Israel has refused to withdraw its troops from around the Palestinian leader's headquarters while the men remain inside.

The Palestinians earlier agreed to transfer the men - members of al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades - to a prison in the West Bank town of Jericho, but most of the group refused to be moved.

Compromise

The BBC's Damian Grammaticas says that since the US-backed peace plan known as the roadmap was unveiled, the Palestinian authorities have been under intense pressure to tackle militant groups.

One of the detained men, Kamal Ghanam, said Yasser Arafat had asked the men to move because "the world has changed".

The US reportedly brokered a deal under which they would have been moved to a Palestinian prison in Jericho, where they would be under international supervision.

But the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade members in Jenin issued an angry statement saying those who had arrested the men would be held responsible for their safety.

They threatened to continue attacks against Israelis and fight what they called collaborators who conspire with Israel.

Our correspondent says it appears the Palestinian authorities have compromised, allowing the men to keep their guns and to be visited by family members while they remain inside the compound.


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Damian Grammaticas
"The Palestinians have come under huge pressure from their own side"



Israel and the Palestinians

KEY STORIES

FEATURES & ANALYSIS

Palestinian women sit on a roof top of the home of a Palestinian family in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on 20 November 2006. Human shields
Palestinians adopt a new tactic to deter Israeli attacks, but this is a high-risk strategy

VIDEO AND AUDIO


PROFILES

 



RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific