GAZA CITY ø An adviser to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser
Arafat has been assassinated as part of the power struggle within the ruling
Palestinian sources said Khalid Zaben was shot and killed by
unidentified gunmen on Tuesday as he left his office in Gaza City. Zaben,
the sources said, was shot 12 times as part of the struggle within Fatah to
eliminate Arafat loyalists who settled in the Gaza Strip from abroad in the
"We cannot stand silent before what happened," Arafat said.
The shooting marked the assassination of the most senior loyalist to
Arafat in 2004. In February, PA police commander Maj. Gen. Ghazi Jabali was
assaulted by agents of Arafat dissident Mohammed Dahlan, the former
commander of the Preventive Security Apparatus in the Gaza Strip.
Dahlan's agents were believed to have been responsible for attacks on
Arafat loyalists throughout the Gaza Strip. Those attacked included police
officers, journalists, PA officials and mosque clerics.
Zaben, whose two brothers serve as PLO ambassadors, was a former
personal secretary and media adviser to Arafat. For the last few years, he
was publisher of a PA-sponsored weekly A-Nashra, where he wrote articles
critical of Hamas-aligned groups as well as the power struggle within Fatah.
Earlier, a bomb exploded outside a mosque in Dir El Balah and a cleric
was assaulted. Palestinian sources
also attributed these attacks to the power struggle within Fatah.