Page last updated at 15:40 GMT, Thursday, 25 December 2008

Palestinian jailed for 30 years

Ahmed Saadat
Ahmed Saadat was seized from a West Bank prison

The leader of a Palestinian armed group has been sentenced to 30 years in prison by an Israeli military court.

Ahmed Saadat, who heads the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was convicted of a number of attacks.

He had earlier been acquitted of planning to assassinate Israeli cabinet minister Rehavam Zeevi at a Jerusalem hotel in 2001.

Israeli forces seized Saadat in a controversial raid on a West Bank prison in March 2006.

Long sentences

An Israeli military source told Agence France-Presse after the verdict: "As chief of an illegal terrorist organisation, Ahmed Saadat is responsible and guilty of all actions carried out by this organisation."

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said it had killed Zeevi after its leader Abu Ali Mustafa was killed by Israeli troops.

Two other members of the PFLP received long prison sentences for the killing, which happened shortly after Saadat took over as leader.

A senior Palestinian official, Saeb Erekat, has denounced the verdict on Saadat, pointing out that Saadat is a member of the Palestinian parliament.

Saadat was taken by Israeli forces when they raided the prison in Jericho after British guards had left.

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