Arafat's nephew survives car bombing attack

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

GAZA CITY The nephew of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, who serves as security chief in the Gaza Strip, was the target of a car bombing late Tuesday.

Palestinian sources said PA security chief Mussa Arafat was in a convoy that was struck by a car bombing. The sources said Arafat left PA military intelligence headquarters in Gaza City when the blast occurred.

Arafat was said to have survived the attack. Palestinian sources said at least one pedestrian was injured.

It was the first time Arafat was the target of a car bombing. Arafat has been the focus of a campaign by dissidents of the ruling Fatah movement, who have charged the military intelligence chief with corruption and brutality.

Nobody issued a claim of responsibility after the bombing. Palestinian sources said the most likely suspects were Fatah dissidents.

In July, the PA chairman appointed Mussa head of PA security forces in the Gaza Strip. Several days later, the chairman rescinded his appointment after widespread protests within Fatah, including attacks on PA police stations.

On Wednesday, Imad Kawasmeh, head of the Hamas military wing Izadin Al Kassam in the West Bank town of Hebron, surrendered to Israeli troops after they ambushed his warehouse hideout. Kawasmeh is suspected of planning the August 31 suicide bus bombings in the southern city of Beer Sheva that killed 16 people and planning and implementing other attacks in which civilans and soldiers were killed.

Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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