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Gunmen kill Arafat media adviser

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  • ummyakoub
    Gunmen kill Arafat media adviser BBC News Online 2 March 2004 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3524415.stm Unknown gunmen have shot dead the media
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 5 6:27 AM
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      Gunmen kill Arafat media adviser

      BBC News Online
      2 March 2004

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3524415.stm

      Unknown gunmen have shot dead the media advisor of Palestinian
      leader Yasser Arafat outside his office in Gaza City.

      Khalil al-Zaben, a prominent journalist who also advised Mr Arafat
      on human rights, was struck by a dozen bullets, local Palestinian
      sources said.

      The killing comes amid fears of growing lawlessness and chaos in
      Palestinian areas and eroding central control.

      In the West Bank, Israeli forces killed an unarmed Palestinian
      during what they described as an arrest operation.

      Relatives quoted by Reuters news agency said the man was gunned down
      after troops surrounded his house and ordered him to come out.

      An army spokeswoman said the man had fled the building and had not
      responded to soldiers' commands in Arabic for him to stop.

      Arafat ally

      In the aftermath of the Gaza attack, Palestinian officials did not
      comment on a possible motive.

      The local union of journalists has condemned it and demanded an
      inquiry.

      Mr Zaben, 59, was a veteran journalist who ran a Palestinian
      Authority-funded magazine as well as giving Mr Arafat advice.

      He died soon after being brought to hospital following the shooting
      just before midnight (2200 GMT) on Monday.

      "We strongly condemn the assassination of veteran journalist Khalil
      al-Zaben and urge the Palestinian Authority to intervene immediately
      to find the perpetrators," said Tawfiq Abu Khoussa, deputy chairman
      of the Palestinian Journalists' Union.

      AP news agency reports that Mr al-Zebin became an Arafat ally in the
      1960s and returned to Gaza along with the Palestinian leader and
      other exiles in 1994, under the terms of Israeli-Palestinian interim
      peace accords.

      Two of his brothers are Palestinian ambassadors in South America and
      his son works as an airline pilot there, the agency says.

      He is also survived by his wife and three daughters.

      Media targeted

      On Friday, the mayor of Nablus resigned amid escalating infighting
      between armed militias in the West Bank's largest city.

      A policeman was killed at Gaza police headquarters when armed groups
      opened fire on each other after one of them had struck the police
      chief.

      Correspondents say there is concern about the possibility of Gaza
      descending into anarchy following a future planned Israeli pullout.

      Journalists in Gaza staged a strike on 9 February to protest against
      growing attacks on reporters in the Palestinian territories:

      Three weeks ago, newspaper journalist Munir Abu Rizeq reported that
      his car had been torched in Gaza City

      In early February, the offices of the Palestinian weekly Ad-Dar were
      vandalised during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha

      On 8 January, a Gaza correspondent for the Arab television station
      al-Arabiya was beaten up by masked men; the station's offices in the
      West Bank town of Ramallah were attacked last September by masked
      men claiming to belong to the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades group
      During the three-year intifada, or uprising, Israel has frequently
      attacked Palestinian police and security installations severely
      impairing the power of Mr Arafat's security forces.

      ------------------------------------------------------------
      Israeli army raids northern Gaza Strip

      Xinhua
      2 March 2004

      GAZA, March 2-- An Israel Army force on Tuesday stormed into
      Al-Sudanya area, north of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian security
      sources said.

      Eyewitnesses confirmed that the Israel Army force comprising of tens
      of tanks and military bulldozers had broken into the area amid heavy
      shooting before stationing near the northeast shores of the Gaza
      Strip.

      Meanwhile, the Palestinian general security services said that the
      Israel Army forces stationed near Beit Hanoun had opened fire
      towards the houses at the late hours on Monday, causing severe
      material damages and states of panic among the residents.

      Web: www.iap.org - email: iapinfo@...

      ---------------------------------------------------
      Palestinians Fear Gaza Chaos After Rare Rape-Murder

      Mon Mar 1, 2004 By Nidal al-Mughrabi

      http://www.reuters.com/printerFriendlyPopup.jhtml?
      type=worldNews&storyID=4469495

      GAZA (Reuters) - Palestinians Monday demanded the execution of four
      men for the rape and murder of a Gaza girl of 16, a rare sex crime
      that has deepened fears of a slide into lawlessness accelerated by
      the conflict with Israel.

      "Human wolves," the Palestinian daily al-Ayyam headlined in reference
      to the arrested suspects in a case that has shocked the Palestinians'
      conservative Muslim society, where rape has long been a taboo topic.

      Gazans knew that the girl was abducted as she left school last
      September and found strangled 48 hours later in a garbage bin. But
      investigators did not confirm until Friday, when they announced the
      arrest of the suspects, that she had been raped.

      "Death to the filthy killers!" chanted at least 4,000 Palestinians,
      including hundreds of students and militants firing rifles into the
      air, in a rally at a seaside refugee camp near the family home of the
      slain teen-ager, Maiada Abu Lamdi.

      "We are asking the Palestinian Authority to implement the law of
      Allah -- let the killers' hands and legs be cut off and let the
      killers be hung in public!" they shouted.

      In the 1990s, a Gaza police officer was executed by firing squad for
      the rape of a boy after the news of his deed provoked riots demanding
      that he be put to death.

      Colonel Majed Abu Shammala, Gaza's chief criminal investigator, said
      the suspects in the girl's case, all taxi drivers aged 22 to 24, had
      confessed under questioning and were charged with rape and murder.
      They were jailed pending trial.

      Families of two of the suspects have publicly disowned them over the
      crime to avoid stigma and possible revenge attacks.

      Abu Shammala said that in general, solving sex crimes was difficult
      because victims and families preferred not to talk or undergo legal
      procedures for fear of public shame.

      He said scores of possible witnesses and suspects were questioned
      before the arrests were made.

      PUBLIC ORDER UNRAVELLING

      Palestinians are grappling with a breakdown in law and order they say
      has been accelerated by Israeli army raids. Israel says the raids are
      to pre-empt Palestinian militant attacks, but Palestinians say they
      have also crippled their security services.

      Armed gangs, often drawn from militant groups fighting Israel in an
      uprising and sometimes from the security organs themselves, have been
      behind a sharp rise in robbery, extortion, abductions and murder in
      the cities of Gaza and the West Bank.

      "We are following cases of abuse of weapons, especially official
      weapons, in family feuds and the settling of accounts," said Hamdi
      Shaqoura of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

      "We don't want to worry about our children as they play in the street
      and go to school," a refugee woman told Reuters as Monday's protest
      march passed by her house.

      Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie called at a meeting of the
      dominant Fatah movement's Revolutionary Council last week for a
      crackdown on the militia gangs, but no action was decided.

      President Yasser Arafat has come under growing public fire for a
      system of competing security organs that critics say is designed to
      prevent independent challenges to his rule -- but which has also sown
      disorder in the streets.

      *********************************************************************

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