GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip, AP -The kidnapped son of slain ex-security chief Moussa Arafat was released early Friday, two days after he was seized by the attackers who killed his father.
An Associated Press reporter saw Manhal Arafat enter the office of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza City early Friday, accompanied by Palestinian officials.
Dozens of gunmen stormed the Arafat home Wednesday morning, killing the former head of Palestinian security and abducting his son.
A masked man saying he represents the Popular Resistance Committees, a renegade group, reaffirmed responsibility for the killing and kidnapping, after leaders of the group distanced themselves from the attack.
A Palestinian statement said Abbas would take part in the military funeral for Moussa Arafat after midday prayers on Friday.
After meeting Abbas, Manhal Arafat was taken to his dead father”s house. Gunmen outside fired in the air and kept reporters away.
Moussa Arafat, a relative of the late leader Yasser Arafat, was implicated in alleged corruption and was fired by Abbas. However, his killing was seen as a direct challenge to the Palestinian government, which has pledged to stop renegade armed groups from acting with impunity in Gaza, ahead of Israel”s handover of the territory to Palestinian control next week.
Abbas pledged to hunt down the killers.
The killing raised new questions about the Palestinian Authority”s ability to take control of Gaza after Israel completes its pullout next week.
It occurred a block from the headquarters of the Palestinian Preventive Security Service, which failed to respond, and 400 yards from Abbas” Gaza residence.