Fatah steps ups attacks on Palestinian Authority

Special to World
Monday, July 26, 2004

GAZA CITY Fatah dissidents have continued attacks on Palestinian Authority facilities in the Gaza Strip.

Fatah gunmen attacked PA police stations and government installations over the weekend. At least two facilities were vandalized or torched. On Saturday, 12 Fatah insurgents commandeered and vandalized the PA headquarters in Khan Yunis. After five hours, the insurgents left the building.

At the same time, Fatah gunmen attacked a police facility in the village of Zweideh in the southern Gaza Strip. Palestinian sources said the building was torched.

Fatah dissidents have been attacking PA facilities as part of a power struggle in the Gaza Strip. The dissidents have demanded the dismissal of the nephew of PA Chairman Yasser Arafat, Mussa Arafat, security chief in the Gaza Strip.

"The dispute is not with President Arafat, but with the system of corruption," former PA Security Minister Mohammed Dahlan, believed to be directing the unrest, said.

On July 22, thousands of Fatah dissidents protested the appointment of Mussa as the security chief of the Gaza Strip. They accused Mussa of corruption.

"Prosecute the symbols of corruption before the people prosecute them," the marchers chanted.

Speakers charged Mussa with a list of offenses. They included collaboration with Jordan during the kingdom's offensive against Fatah in 1970, in which an estimated 5,000 Palestinians were killed. He was also accused of being in contact with Israeli intelligence.

In the West Bank, Israel's military was said to have foiled a suicide bombing at a fuel station in the Jordan Valley. Israeli troops arrested three suspected insurgents of Islamic Jihad and seized a 15-kilogram bomb.

Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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