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Arafat adviser killed in Fatah power struggle

Special to World Tribune.com
MIDDLE EAST NEWSLINE
Thursday, March 4, 2004

GAZA CITY An adviser to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat has been assassinated as part of the power struggle within the ruling Fatah movement.

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 1990s.

"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.

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