JERUSALEM, Israel -- Palestinian Authority policemen launched a massive manhunt over the weekend, arresting dozens of Fatah-affiliated residents, some of whom are members of the security forces.
Nearly 2,000 P.A. policemen took part in the operation, which focused on Jenin and the surrounding countryside, The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.
According to the report, P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas ordered the operation after Jenin Gov. Kadoura Musa succumbed to a heart attack shortly after unknown gunmen opened fire on his home last Wednesday.
Commander of P.A. security forces in Jenin, Radi Asideh, vowed "the criminals will be brought to justice."
Meanwhile former head of the al-Aksa Martyrs' Brigades Zacharia Zubeidi denied weekend reports in the Israeli media that he was among the detainees, the P.A.'s Ma'an News Agency reported.
In addition to Zubeidi, the Post reported that Muhammad al-Zalafi, former commander of Jenin's security forces, and Raed Dabaya and Ahmed Turkeman, both working for the P.A.'s General Intelligence Service, were taken into custody.
Security forces transferred all detainees to the P.A. prison in Jericho, while dozens of mothers demonstrated in Jenin and Ramallah, demanding the release of their sons, eyewitnesses reported.