The Unraveling of Arafat?

in General Discussion edited January 2014
Is this the beginning of the end of the Arafat regime? Are changes on the way?

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    ghost_user_nameghost_user_name Posts: 22,667member
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    Jul. 4, 2002

    Palestinian security head quits, another offers resignation


    Gaza Strip police chief Ghazi Jabaili said Thursday he would resign and run against Yasser Arafat in upcoming elections, while another Palestinian security official offered his resignation but not until Arafat officially fired him.

    Arafat dismissed West Bank Preventive Security commander Jibril Rajoub and Jabali but both men said they had not received official notice of their dismissals and vowed to stay in their posts.

    "I will implement President Arafat's orders in my own way," Rajoub told The Associated Press on Thursday from his home in the West Bank city of Ramallah. He said he would submit his resignation once Arafat made his dismissal official.

    A police official, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity, said Jabali, too, would resign and would consider running against Arafat in January elections. Jabali was not immediately available for comment.

    Jabali had insisted Wednesday that the reports of his dismissal were "rumors" and there was no sign he was ready to leave his post.

    Meanwhile, Palestinian Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo was quoted saying the Palestinian Authority would reorganize and publish any reassignments over the next few days.

    Yaakov Perry, former head of Israel's Shin Bet intelligence service, said the reshuffle seemed to weaken Arafat's circle of power.

    "There is no doubt that Arafat's position has been greatly weakened," Perry said. "It is possible to say that those close to him ... have also been greatly weakened."

    Arafat has been holed up in his Ramallah headquarters for nearly six months now. Israeli tanks encircled the city-block-sized compound 10 days ago for the third time in recent weeks, trapping Arafat and his top aides inside.

    Though Rajoub has pledged loyalty to Arafat, Israeli media reported that Rajoub's backers were rejecting any other commander in his place. Rajoub's security force is the strongest in the West Bank, and Rajoub's power there is second only to Arafat's.

    "I think someone is trying to harm the whole security services and leak such lies and baseless stories," Rajoub said Wednesday.

    He added: "I am an obedient officer. As soon as I receive a presidential decree, for sure it will be implemented immediately. And I don't think there will be a mutiny or any kind of internal confrontation."

    Rajoub, 49, is in charge of one of the security forces that Western leaders say should do more to halt suicide bombings against Israelis.

    Reports also circulated Wednesday that civil defense chief Mahmoud Abu Marzouk had been fired.

    Palestinian officials did not confirm these reports either.

    Some Palestinian political sources said Arafat might still be considering the dismissals. Others said the newly appointed interior minister, Abdel Razzak al-Yahya, may have tried to oust Rajoub but failed, or decided at the last minute that he was too powerful to take on.

    Rajoub, one of the most powerful figures in the West Bank and mentioned as a possible successor to Arafat, would be the top-ranking casualty of Arafat's attempt to restructure his competing and overlapping security services.

    The two have had a stormy recent past. On February 11, Rajoub and Arafat had a heated dispute during which Arafat tried to punch Rajoub and then drew a pistol, according to an official who was present. They were arguing over Arafat's order to dismantle a militia affiliated with his Fatah movement.

    Then, during Operation Defensive Shield, after a series of Palestinian suicide bombings, Israeli forces attacked Rajoub's headquarters in the Ramallah suburb of Beituniya. With the IDF surrounding the building, Rajoub approved a decision by the men inside to surrender, losing face in the view of many Palestinians.

    Rajoub was not in the building at the time, but members of his staff were, along with Palestinian terrorists being held in the jail at the facility. The Israelis took the terrorists into their custody.

    Rajoub said he believes Arafat is not showing him the proper amount of respect. "The relations between me and President Arafat require him at least to send me a piece of paper" about the dismissal, Rajoub said. "I shouldn't have to hear about this from the TV and the media."

    He said he had talked about the dismissal with Yahya, but not with Arafat.

    Israel said it did not view the move as significant, with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's spokesman, Ra'anan Gissin, calling the moves "window dressing."

    Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer added, "I hope that the Western world and the Palestinians will understand that the one and only step that will rescue the Palestinians will be if someone gets up and tells Arafat, simply, 'Take yourself and move over and let others lead.' "

    Should the decision to replace Rajoub go through, it suggests more than an overhaul of the security services, but an overhaul of the group's very personality.

    Rajoub, brusque short-tempered and some say cruel, has led the body since its inception. Uneducated but savvy, Rajoub is known as a man of the people, having been a Fatah leader in the 1970s and '80s and having spent 18 years of his 49 years in Israeli prisons.

    He ruled with an iron fist, but was also known to have made a small fortune through business deals facilitated by his position and contacts with Israel.

    According to some reports, former Jenin District Governor Zuhair al-Manasreh has been touted as Rajoub's replacement.

    Manasereh presents almost the opposite of Rajoub. An academic, Manasreh resigned from his post as governor of Jenin less than a month ago.

    Like Rajoub, a veteran of the Tunis exile, Manasreh, fluent in English and German, is well-liked by European and Americans donors and officials. He is softspoken and though loyal to the PA and Arafat, he has recently been both one of the most outspoken critics of PA corruption and one of most audible voices calling for reform.

    A member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, throughout his governorship Manasreh was assigned to coordinating Jenin's different security services and providing conflict resolution mechanisms for the various groups operating in the city, including Islamic Jihad and Hamas.


  • Reply 2 of 2
    [quote]Originally posted by Gringo Viejo:

    <strong>Is this the beginning of the end of the Arafat regime? Are changes on the way?

    <a href=""; target="_blank"></a></strong><hr></blockquote>;

    he doesn't know whether to shit or go blind right about now. I'd say umh, yeah
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