Wanted Palestinian terrorist found dead in Bulgaria

A patrol from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in 1969. On Friday, a Palestinian terrorist affiliated with the PFLP was found dead in the Palestinian embassy in Bulgaria. Credit: Thomas R. Koeniges via Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) A wanted Palestinian terrorist who was convicted with his brother and another man for the murder of a yeshiva student in Jerusalem in 1986 has been found dead in the Palestinian embassy in Bulgaria, according to Palestinian media reports emerging Friday.

Omar Nayef Zayed, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group, was wanted for the murder of Eliyahu Amadi. He had been sentenced to life in prison for the crime, but in 1990 he escaped and was able to flee outside of Israel, eventually settling in Bulgaria. There, he got married and had three children.

Two months ago, Zayed came to the Palestinian embassy in Bulgaria to escape Bulgarian police, who were searching for him based on an Israeli request for his extradition. Zayed was then faced with several ultimatums from Bulgarian authorities and from Palestinian Authority (PA) Ambassador to Bulgaria Ahmad Madbough, giving him 24 hours to turn himself in, all demands that he refused.

On Friday, Bulgarian news websites reported that emergency services came to the embassy and found Zayed with critical injuries to his upper body. He later died. Conflicting reports about the nature of his death have started to emerge.

The PA's deputy foreign minister, Tayseer Jaradat, said Zayed was not killed by a shooting, while the PFLP said he was shot in the head. Another Bulgarian media report claimed he was pushed to his death from a fourth-floor window.
The official Palestinian news agency, WAFA, reported that PA President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered an investigation into Zayed's death and "condemned the crime in the strongest terms possible.”

Although the PFLP blamed Israel for Zayed's death, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said the Jewish state learned of his death from the media reports and is currently investigating the matter, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

Posted on February 26, 2016 .