MK Ahmed Tibi has bailed 10 Palestinian Authority Arabs out of prison. The ten were arrested on Sunday for attempting to break through a checkpoint near Bethlehem during a riot.
Tibi paid 15,000 shekels to get the group out of jail.
As the rioters were released, Tibi attempted to shake hands with Abbas Zaki (also known as Sharif Mashaal), a senior Fatah member who was among the detainees. Tibi's efforts to approach Zaki were met with resistance from police officers present, and a scuffle broke out.
Zaki's involvement in the Bethlehem riot, and the attempt to break through an Israeli checkpoint, was seen as evidence of the PA's growing commitment to “popular resistance,” according to pan-Arab network Al Jazeera.
Sunday's riot sparked another riot on Wednesday, at which protesters pelted soldiers and policemen with rocks. Three policemen were lightly wounded.
Wednesday's riot was also sparked by Israel's plan to use land near Bethlehem to build an entrance ramp to highway 443. The ramp is being built in order to allow PA Arabs to use the road, following a petition to the High Court against Israel's policy of barring PA Arabs from the highway for security reasons.