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NEWS: PNC Declared a State of Emergency in the Gaza Strip

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posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 12:34 AM
After three kidnappings in less than 10 hours, the Palestinian National Security Council declared a state of emergency in the Gaza Strip early Saturday
On Saturday morning, following the incidents, the Palestinian National Security Council agreed to declare a state of emergency in the Gaza Strip.

The three kidnappings ended in one day and all hostages were released. They were the chief of the Gaza Strip's Blue Police, Ghazi al-Jabali, chief of the Palestinian Liaison with the Israelis, Col. Khaled Abu al-O'la, and four French aid workers -- two women and two men -- along with their Palestinian colleague.

In the three separate kidnappings, Palestinian militants were asking for reforms, the end of corruption with tainted officials taken to court, and the building of thousands of houses for Palestinians left homeless after the Israeli army destroyed their houses

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

The armed abductions reflected the growing efforts by militant groups and individuals to strengthen their positions before PM Sharon fulfills his pledge to withdraw Israeli forces and some 7,500 settlers from Gaza late next year.

The crisis raised questions about the future of Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia's government, which will meet Saturday a session that could determine its future,

Preventive security chief in Gaza, Rashid Abu Shbak, and the head of Palestinian general intelligence, Amin Hindi, had submitted their resignations to Arafat "because of the state of chaos and the lack of action by the Palestinian Authority to make reforms." It is unclear if Arafat has accepted the resignations.

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Related Discussion Threads:
TERRORISM: Spate of Kidnappings in Gaza Strip
NEWS: Palestinian Authority Collapsing as Israel Unites

[edit on 7-17-2004 by Valhall]

[edit on 20-7-2004 by Banshee]

posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 01:16 AM
PM Qureia has handed his resignation to Arafat in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Saturday afternoon in the wake of a series of kidnappings of Palestinian security officials and French aid workers.

Arafat had rejected the resignation, but Qureia will insist it is accepted.

Arafat refused to accept the resignation, PA Minister Saeb Erekat said, adding that Qureia was "holding a cabinet meeting to discuss the issue with ministers."

Erekat said earlier that Qureia's decision "does not reflect differences" with the PA chairman

"This is a true disaster," Qureia said Saturday outside his offices in Ramallah, shortly before meeting with Arafat.

Arafat also agreed Saturday to consolidate his security forces into three branches, a key international demand for reform, a senior aide to the PA chairman announced.

haaretz: Qureia resigns as PM after 'unprecedented chaos' in Gaza

Friday morning Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat called on militant groups to bar the UN's Middle East envoy Terje Roed-Larsen from entering the Palestinian territories or meeting Palestinian officials.

Terje Roed-Larsen - long considered close to Arafat and sympathetic to the Palestinian cause - said at a UN Security Council briefing that Arafat was blocking vital reforms within the PA and accused him of hindering peace moves

On Wednesday, Mr Arafat's aide, Nabil Abu Rdainah, said Mr Roed-Larsen was no longer welcome in the West Bank or Gaza. Yesterday a spokesman for al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades said: "People in Arafat's office called us and told us that Larsen's statements are just another part of the conspiracy to delegitimise Arafat. They told us Larsen is now with Israel and America ... They asked us to intervene to stop him in his tracks."" target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">Guardian: Palestinian militants ban UN envoy


[edit on 17-7-2004 by Riwka]

posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 06:09 AM
Following a spate of kidnappings by militants demanding reforms Arafat has long resisted, Arafat agreed Saturday to consolidate his security forces. An Egyptian plan specifically called for the streamlining of the services into three branches in Gaza and the West Bank.

He also ousted Gaza police chief Ghazi al-Jabal on Saturday in apparent response to his kidnappers' demands he be dismissed over alleged corruption.

Major-General Saeb al-Ajez said he received orders from Arafat to replace police chief Ghazi al-Jabali, who was abducted and freed on Friday by gunmen who accused him of corruption and demanded the president dismiss him.

Arafat also announced in a statement the appointment of his cousin, Major-General Mussa Arafat, as head of the national security forces in the Gaza Strip.

But the leader of the militants who kidnapped Jabali condemned the president's move.

"With all due respect to President Arafat, the Palestinian Authority cannot remain to be monopolized by (Arafat) and his relatives," said Jenin Martyrs Brigades spokesman Abu Iyad. "We have our own ways to show our rejection."" target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">Reuters


[edit on 17-7-2004 by Riwka]

posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 12:15 PM
It looks like a power struggle is taking place between Palestinian factions before Israel's planned pull out from Gaza.

I wouldn't expect Arafat to change too much though - he's all about retaining power for himself. What does make the situation complex though, is that if he doesn't give some concessions to the militant groups, Arafat himself could come under fire from the very people he has been using against Israel.

posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 03:01 PM
Yes, the crisis in Gaza has come at a time when the Palestinian Authority was anyway under huge pressure.

The internationally backed roadmap peace plan envisages the creation of a Palestinian state in 2005, but only after the Palestinian Authority "undertakes visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt and restrain" the armed factions.

Yassier Arafat has announced an overhaul of the Authority's security structure. But the limiting of the security organizations to three - as Egypt and the Quartet asked for - is useless in the way Arafat carried it out. They still remain under the control of the National Security Council, that he heads.

The struggle for power in Gaza is mostly within the Fatah, by leading figures that make use of loyal groups of thugs that have become increasingly powerful as a result of the weakened central authority.
Fatah also wants to generate pressure on Arafat that might force him to make changes that will play to their advantage after the Israeli withdrawal.

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed offshoot of Arafat's Fatah movement which has been behind a string of anti-Israeli attacks, said Musa's appointment would lead to "internal conflict" and branded him a symbol of corruption.

Thousands protesting in Gaza against new security chief for the area, Arafats cousin Major-General Mussa Arafat

Thousands of demonstrators marched in Gaza City on Saturday to protest against the new security chief appointed for the area by Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, saying he would bring no change, witnesses said.

"No to corruption. Yes to reform and change," activists from Arafat's Fatah group shouted as gunmen from the group's military wing, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, fired into the air.

"We send a message to the leader Yasser Arafat. Don't replace corruption with even more corruption," shouted Fata leader Samir al-Mashharawy." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">Reuters: Thousands march against new Gaza security chief

The situation in Gaza is echoed in large parts of the West Bank, notably in the main northern city of Nablus whose long-time mayor Ghassan al-Shaka resigned in May, saying he would no longer be "a partner or witness" to the economic, social and security deterioration in the city of 200,000 residents.


posted on Jul, 18 2004 @ 06:52 AM
Early Sunday morning, a group of armed Palestinians in Khan Yunis (Gaza Strip) attacked PA security headquarters where forces loyal to newly appointed PA security chief Musa Arafat were stationed. They opened fire on security guards inside, smashed furniture and burned down the one-story building.

Until recently, Yassier Arafats relative Major-General Musa Arafat had only headed Military Intelligence, but he now has charge over most personnel belonging to National Security and Force 17. Police and officers belonging to the Palestinian Military Intelligence under the command of Musa Arafat, took over the structures housing the PA's television and radio stations, as well as the main police stations in the city.

In protest over Musa Arafat nomination Commander of Palestinian naval forces submits resignation.

Musa Arafat is considered a bitter Muhammad Dahlan opponent (former Palestinian Authority Security Minister) and has been known to have links with the extensive network of smuggling that takes place through a network of tunnels between the Egyptian-controlled Sinai and the southern Gaza Strip.

The gunmen who kidnapped Jabali and another senior PA security officer on Friday are also said to be Dahlan loyalists. Those close to Dahlan said they will not accept the appointment of Musa Arafat and are willing to undertake a "frontal confrontation" to remove him.

Dahlan did not take part in the demonstration and was adamant in his refusal to comment on the situation. Dahlan sees the Israeli withdrawal as an opportunity for the Palestinians.

Last week, in an interview to the New York Times, Dahlan said,

The Gaza Strip is at a crucial juncture; we will either gain independence or become Somalia." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">NYTimes: Isolated and Angry, Gaza Battles Itself, Too

There were initial signs Sunday of Egyptian involvement in efforts to calm the Gaza situation.

Egypts foreign minister called on Palestinians to demonstrate unity and prove to the world that they are capable of establishing a state.

One of Arafats advisors is leaving for Cairo and meeting with senior officials to discuss the reforms and the disengagement.

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa called Arafat and expressed his confidence in Arafats ability to take control over the situation.

haaretz: Mass protest, Gaza HQ torched


[edit on 18-7-2004 by Riwka]

posted on Jul, 19 2004 @ 04:48 AM
Yasser Arafat has annulled the appointment of Musa Arafat, less than three days after his controversial appointment sparked violent clashes between Fatah militants and PA security forces and reappointed previous Palestinian security chief

Up to 18 Palestinians injured, 3 seriously in fighting Sunday in Gaza strip between Palestinian Fatah militants and Palestinian Authority security forces (also Palestinian Reuters reporter Ahmed al-Baba has been wounded)

Abdel-Razek al-Majaideh was named director of General Security for the West Bank and Gaza Strip, replacing Moussa Arafat, whose appointment to the post on Saturday triggered clashes between gunmen and his loyalists.

Reuters: Arafat Reinstates Security Chief Amid Crisis

At a meeting of the Palestinian National Security Council on Sunday, Arafat told Ahmed Qureia he "strongly rejects" the resignation, said Palestinian cabinet minister Saeb Erekat.

But Qureia says his resignation stands, and is waiting Arafat`s written response


[edit on 19-7-2004 by Riwka]

posted on Jul, 20 2004 @ 06:19 AM
Ahmed Qureia decides not to resign as Palestinian PM following request from Arafat

Mr Qureia told his Cabinet he accepted Mr Arafat's rejection of his resignation, which he submitted on Saturday following days of upheaval in the Gaza Strip.

sky news


[edit on 20-7-2004 by Riwka]

posted on Jul, 20 2004 @ 08:08 AM
UNRWA aid agency decides to evacuate all employees with foreign citizenship from Gaza Strip

posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 05:39 AM
The United Nations has decided to move about a third of its foreign crews in Gaza to the UN headquarters in Armon Hanatziv / Jerusalem. The other 40 non-Palestinians working for the UN in Gaza will remain at their jobs.

Since the October 2003 attack on an American diplomatic convoy in which three American security guards were killed, diplomatic missions in Gaza have beefed up their security.

Sources in Gaza said that two months ago, Secretary General Kofi Annan was warned by a third party that an armed faction in Gaza was plotting to kidnap Annan's envoy to the region, Terje Rod Larsen, in an attempt to pressure the Israeli government.

haaretz: UN moves 20 personnel out of Gaza - for safety


[edit on 21-7-2004 by Riwka]

posted on Jul, 24 2004 @ 03:11 AM
Masked militants stormed and destroyed a Palestinian police station in Zwaida (about 7 kilometers south of Gaza City). They smashed furniture, then set the building alight. The fire also damaged the nearby town council building.

In Khan Yunis (southern sector of Gaza strip) about 20 militants of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades took over the building of the local administration.

Jawad Ghussein, who was secretary-general of the Palestinian National Fund until 1996, said this week in London, "the billions Arafat has stolen over the years from the Palestinian people facilitated the corruption of the Palestinian leadership."

For twelve years, Ghussein deposited $7.5 to $8 million each month into Arafat's personal bank account.

In 1996, Arafat's wife Suha arrived in Buenos Aires with $30 million in cash that she invested in a business with other Palestinians.

As of August 2002, Arafat's personal holdings were reported to total $1.3 billion, including $500 million of the PLO's money.

FrontPageMagazine: Arafat's Pilfered Profits


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