<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> WorldTribune.com: Mobile Abducted: Palestinian attorney collecting settlement from Palestinian Development Fund
Abducted: Palestinian attorney collecting settlement from Palestinian Development Fund

Monday, February 11, 2008 Free Headline Alerts

RAMALLAH Palestinian Authority officials are suspected of involvement in the abduction of a West Bank attorney.

A Palestinian attorney who won a case against the Palestinian Development Fund was abducted as she entered Ramallah to collect a check for her client. The attorney, Amani Abu Arqoub, left her home on Feb. 6 in Dura in the southern West Bank for Ramallah to collect the settlement from PDF offices in Ramallah.

"At 13:37, three of the lawyer's brothers and sisters received a telephone message from the kidnappers stating that 'Amani will be away for seven days,'" the Palestinian Human Rights Center said on Sunday. "'We will let you speak to her after that.'"

Palestinian sources said the 28-year-old attorney was believed to have been abducted by PA officers who sought to stop her from collecting the settlement, Middle East Newsline reported. They said the award was for several thousand dollars. The award marked a U.S.-sponsored attempt to revive the PA judiciary. For years, PA courts, plagued by numerous attacks, failed to issue or enforce judgements in fear of Fatah militias.

The message by Ms. Abu Arqoub's abductors was sent from a mobile phone on the network of an Israeli cellular phone company. On Feb. 7, the attorney's younger brother received a text message that she was in good condition.

"PCHR is concerned over this crime, which is a continuation of the security chaos plaguing the occupied Palestinian territories," the center said. "The center calls upon the PA, represented by the attorney-general, to seriously investigate this crime, and to prosecute the perpetrators."

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