Protest in Jenin to defend Omar Nayef Zayed against extradition to Bulgaria


Palestinians in Jenin protested on 11 February outside the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross, calling on Bulgaria to reject the extradition of former Palestinian prisoner Omar Nayef Zayed to the Israeli state.

Zayed, 52, has lived in Bulgaria for 22 years; his wife and three children are Bulgarian citizens. He escaped from Israeli imprisonment in 1990 following a 40-day hunger strike; he was serving a life sentence at the time. Having escaped Palestine, he traveled to Bulgaria, where he has lived ever since. In December 2015, the Israeli embassy in Sofia demanded Bulgaria arrest and turn over Zayed. While Bulgarian police raided his home, he was not present; he has taken sanctuary in the Palestinian Embassy in Bulgaria.

Participants in the protest included representatives of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, former Palestinian prisoners and friends and relatives of Zayed.

Speakers noted that this case is that of a Palestinian prisoner, being sought by the Bulgarian authorities on the basis of his struggle in Palestine and the demands of the Israeli occupation, saying that it is critical to mobilize around this issue and prevent Zayed from being extradited.