Saturday, July 17, 2004


From The Jerusalem Post:


Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets in Gaza City on Saturday night to protest against the decision to name Musa Arafat commander of the PA national security forces.

The demonstrators called for getting rid of all the corrupt officials in the PA.

[. . .]

Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat appointed his cousin, Major-General Musa Arafat, as commander of the PA National Security Forces in the Gaza Strip on Saturday in light of a deteriorating state of chaos and lawlessness.

[. . .]

Qurei was the third top official to submit his resignation to Arafat in the past 48 hours. On Friday night, Arafat also rejected the resignations of General Intelligence Chief Amin Hindi and Preventative Security Chief Rashid Abu Shabak.

The two security commanders cited the growing anarchy and lawlessness in the Gaza Strip as the main reason behind their decision to resign.

[. . .]

"With all due respect to President Arafat, the Palestinian Authority cannot continue to be monopolized by (Arafat) and his relatives," said Abu Iyad, the leader of Fatah's Jenin Martyrs Brigades. "We have our own ways to show our opposition to this move."

[. . .]

This may be interpreted as a good thing. The security people are tired of the mess in the Territories and it seems they're tired of Arafat's intransigence and dishonesty. While still powerful, the cracks are beginning to form in Arafat's coalition and maybe more sensible heads will come to the fore now that they realize they have a genuine opportunity to make things better after the Israeli pullout. With a little give on the Palestinians' part, the results could be fruitful for the people on the street. Hopefully there are still some people there with the vision to see a day when little boys don't throw rocks at Israeli tanks and young men don't detonate themselves on Tel Aviv buses.

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