He was released after several hours of captivity on Saturday.

 

"We released him because we received instructions from the president to do so. We do not question the president's instructions," said Zakariya Zubeidi, the leader of the local branch of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades militant group.

   

The group said it had abducted governor Haider Irsheid after he tried to launch a crackdown on its members.

 

Beaten in public

 

Earlier on Saturday, the Palestinian governor  was abducted and beaten in public by members of a resistance faction, witnesses said.

 

Armed and masked men of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades dragged Irsheid, 50, to a street in downtown Jenin where they beat him up in broad daylight as a crowd looked on.

 

They took him afterwards to the Jenin refugee camp. Zubeidi accused the governor of "collaborating with Israel".

 

The al-Aqsa is an offshoot of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat's Fatah faction.

 

Peace process is sparking 
tensions

It was the first time that a Palestinian resistance group has abducted a senior official of the Palestinian Authority.

 

The abduction comes amid sharp disagreements between Irsheid and al-Aqsa, Aljazeera correspondent reported.

 

The governor’s name has been linked to a scandal in which funds given to the Palestinian Authority (PA) by donor countries disappeared, according to Palestinian sources.

 

The PA has been accused in the past of corruption and mismanaging financial aid.