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Abbas Shakes Up Security

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  • MewNews Editor
    latimes.com http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-fg-palestinians3apr03,1,7999289.story?coll=la-news-a_section Abbas Shakes Up Security From
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 3, 2005
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      latimes.com
      http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-fg-palestinians3apr03,1,7999289.story?coll=la-news-a_section
      Abbas Shakes Up Security
      From Times Wire Services

      April 3, 2005

      RAMALLAH, West Bank � Palestinian Authority President
      Mahmoud Abbas accepted the resignation of a top
      security chief Saturday and ordered hundreds of senior
      security officers to retire in a bid to reform his
      forces and halt violence, an official said.

      Abbas, who took office Jan. 15 after the death last
      year of longtime Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, has
      been under pressure from Israel and Washington to
      impose law and order in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

      Israel and the United States have demanded that the
      Palestinians streamline their corruption-plagued
      security forces, which under Arafat ballooned into
      nearly a dozen branches with often overlapping
      authorities and rivalries. The Palestinian Authority
      has 45,000 to 50,000 security officers on its payroll.

      "We will not allow anyone to take the law into his own
      hands and sabotage our situation," Abbas said,
      criticizing the security services.

      "I want to distinguish between nationalists and
      criminals," Abbas said in remarks broadcast on
      Palestinian television. "The security apparatus did
      not perform its duty, so it was crucial to take a
      stand," he added, in his most blunt criticism yet of
      the forces.

      Abbas ordered the ratification of a law that would
      essentially force many security officers into early
      retirement, a Palestinian official said. "Hundreds of
      security men will retire," the official said, adding
      that the legislation would take effect next week.

      Abbas also accepted the resignation of Haj Ismail
      Jaber, head of national security in the West Bank,
      whom he had urged to quit for failing to halt growing
      lawlessness between rival factions. Members of Abbas'
      Fatah faction fired at the president's compound in
      Ramallah on Wednesday.

      Jaber resigned, but he blamed the government for not
      stopping the internal violence in the West Bank and
      Gaza in recent months. The chaos also prompted
      Thursday's resignation of the head of intelligence. On
      Friday, gunmen from the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade,
      loosely linked to Fatah, stormed a recreation center
      in the West Bank town of Nablus.




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