|Why did the Iraqi Chicken Cross the Road?|
The fact that the chicken crossed the road shows that decision making authority has switched to the chicken. From now on the chicken is responsible for its own decisions.
We were asked to help the chicken cross the road. Given the inherent risk of road crossings, and the rarity of chickens, this operation will only cost $326,004.
The chicken was a tool of the evil coalition and will be killed.
US Army Military Police
We were directed to prepare the chicken to cross the road. As part of these preparations, individual soldiers ran over the chicken repeatedly, And plucked the chicken. We deeply regret the occurrence of any chicken rights violations.
The chicken crossed the road, and will continue to cross the road, to show its independence and to transport the weapons it needs to defend itself. However, in future, to avoid problem, the chicken will be called a duck, and will wear a plastic bill.
1 st Cavalry
The chicken had no right to cross the road as it did not have the correct identification. Thus, the chicken was searched and detained. We apologize for any embarrassment to the chicken.
The chicken was forced to cross the road multiple times at gunpoint by a large group of occupation soldiers, according to witnesses. The chicken was then fired upon intentionally, in yet another example of the abuse of innocent Iraqi chickens.
We cannot confirm any involvement in the chicken-road-crossing incident.
Chicken he corss street because bad she tangle regulation. Future chicken table against my request.
U.S. Marine corps
The chicken is dead.
Friday, October 22, 2004
|Palestine News report|
|October 22, 2004|
|Below are links to Palestine News Report|
|Headlines Oct 22, 2004 ~ Mideast crisis sorely needs outside mediation -UN Prendergast said Secretary-General Kofi|
Annan would soon establish a new group to register all damage caused by the constructions of Israel's barrier in the
Palestinian West Bank, as requested by the General Assembly.
A Campaign to plant Olive trees near the Separation wall Tens of farmers from villages in the south of Qalqilia,
in the north of the West Bank, started on Thursday morning, planting Olive trees near the Separation Wall,
which separated the Palestinian villagers from their fields.
Facts on the ground: The end of the two-state solution? The report draws on the experience of Christian Aid's
Palestinian and Israeli partners and on first-hand accounts from the people with whom they work and looks at
the progressive building of settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territories and the construction of the Separation Barrier.
French Journalist: “The Wall is a dedication for Racism” Alan Manark, a French Journalist and the author of
“ Sharon's Wall”, which was published recently in France, said that the Separation Wall which Israeli is constructing
in the West Bank is a dedication for Racism, and as a means to encircle the Palestinian in isolated geographical locations.http://www.imemc.org/headlines/2004/October/week4/102204/french%20journalist.htm
The olive war Israeli practices aim to tighten the siege and eliminate all semblance of normal life in the occupied
territories. One example was seen in the images carried by the Israeli media covering what is happening to
Palestinian crops, particularly the olive harvest. Israeli occupation forces are working to destroy this important
crop and wholly eliminate Palestinian agriculture
Palestinian Child Prisoners in Cruel, Inhuman Conditions 391 Palestinian children under 18 years are still detained
in Israeli detention centers, 7% suffer diseases and denied medical care, while 77% of child prisoners arrested from
their homes,the Child and Youth Department in the Ministry revealed.
Poetry for Palestine - Rhythms of Resistance The violence of the powerful Israeli occupation army using live
ammunition, tanks and helicopter gunships is equated with Palestinians protesting against the loss of their rights,
lands and lives." The artists in Poetry for Palestine disolve the fabrications and deceptions with their words and passion.http://www.freespeech.org/fsitv/fscm2/contentviewer.php?content_id=720
Three killed in Khan Younis on Friday A Palestinian medical source in Khan Younis said that one woman died on
Friday evening, of wounds sustained on October, 4, 2004, raising the number of Palestinians shot dead in Kahn Younis,
on Friday to three residents.
Palestinian killed at funeral of Hamas militant Security sources and witnesses said Israeli troops opened fire at the
funeral procession in Khan Yunis, killing Ahmed al-Haddad. But an Israeli army spokesman denied troops had
fired at the funeral procession
Thousands mourn Hamas chief The funeral procession was headed by children waving the movement's huge green
banners, followed by a rank of militants and armed men wearing masks, says the BBC's Alan Johnston in Gaza.
Behind them marched the great throng of mourners.
U.N.: Hundreds of Palestinians Homeless In addition, army shelling and bulldozers destroyed 19 public buildings
and commercial properties, including government compounds, a mosque, two farms and three factories, among
several other small shops, the report said. Sixteen buildings were damaged, including eight UNRWA schools
Church Responds to Congressional Criticism on Divestment I very much regret your disappointment, but in all
candor, must also communicate with you that I am terribly distressed in the failure of the United States Congress
to seek a peaceful resolution to this conflict that would both protect the right of Israel to live in peace with secure
borders and the rights of the Palestinians to statehood and an end of the occupation of their territory.
Tensions boil as Holocaust survivor decries treatment of Palestinians On a recent trip to Israel, airport security
guards informed her that based on her history as an activist she was considered a terrorist threat. She was
subsequently stripped and cavity-searched. “When I stood next to that wall, I remembered what the motto of
Holocaust survivors was: ‘Never again,'” she said. Epstein shook her head and continued, “We Jews are doing this.” http://daily.stanford.org/tempo?page=content&id=14971&repository=0001_article
Sha'ath: PA needs a general election "Elections are the single most important act of reform because elections turn a
stale democracy to a vibrant democracy," Sha'ath told reporters after talks with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.
Palestinians shell Gaza settlements after Israelis kill leading Hamas commander Tens of thousands of angry
Hamas supporters joined the funeral procession for Adnan al-Ghoul, 46, a founder and deputy chief of the
Hamas military wing who was on Israel's most-wanted list since 1990. Mourners and leaders of the Islamic militant
group threatened revenge attacks against Israel.
South African President Mbeki meets with Deputy PM Olmert Trade between the nations stands at about
$500 million per year, and officials say it could double in coming years. South Africa, which hosted talks last
month with members of the Likud party to try to revive negotiations to end the Middle East conflict, has slammed
Israel for building a wall in the West Bank
Egypt proposes deploying 750 troops in Sinai If Israel agrees, the force will be deployed beginning on
January 1, 2005. Egypt made the proposal to Israel during the last meeting of the special security committee
on the Egyptian side of Rafah on October 5.
The Launching of a New International Campaign of Sanctions Against Israel The aim of this press conference
is to inform the public about the latest developments in the international movement to bring sanctions against
Israel in order to end its aggressive policies and bring peace to the region. There are five factors pushing us to
begin this campaign:
Germany and Israel restart talks on sale of submarines According to German defense sources, Germany's Defense
Ministry and military support Israel's request, which would supply employment at shipyards. However, implementing
the deal requires approval by the government, which is divided on the issue.
Churches urged to take proactive role in Israeli-Palestinian crisis Canada, he added should promote "justice and
security. Genuine peace in Israel and Palestine must be founded on justice," he said, but justice is not the final
objective Justice, however, is "the key to all to which we aspire. Only justice produces peace. Only justice leads
to security. Only justice opens the way to reconciliation."
Palestinian official urges Israel to resume peace talks Addressing delegates to a regional Conference on
Interaction and Confidence Building, Abdalla said Israel and the Palestinians needed "to return to the
negotiating table and implement obligations" under the roadmap. Click Here...
'To begin the real process of healing' - By: Daoud Kuttab In both cases, the Israelis create a point of view
and corresponding terminology and idioms and then circulate them locally and around the world as undisputed
truth. The irony is that in both cases, what the Israelis are talking about is the land, lives and future of someone else,
namely the Palestinian people and land.
Israel rampant - By Azmi Bishara This Israeli phase will be characterised by attempts to internationalise the
Congress approved boycott of Syria. The recent UN Security Council resolution on Lebanon -- which has
nothing to do with the Lebanese constitution and everything to do with encircling and striking at Syria -- can only be understood as a building block in this process.http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2004/713/op14.htm
10 years on, Jordan-Israel peace treaty remains cold Even intellectuals like Hassan Barari, who lived three years in
Israel to learn Hebrew, say they are fed up. "Every time I see the scenes of Palestinian deaths and destruction on
television I feel disgust" toward the Israelis, said the researcher from the University of Jordan's Center of Strategic Studies. "http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=2&article_id=9496
You bet he's got a mandate In February 2004, in an interview with Haaretz, Sharon dropped the bombshell
about evacuating 21 settlements in Gaza and the West Bank. He needed time, but Sharon has ripened into a
leader determined to carry out a plan that he believes is imperative, given our political situation, and in keeping
with what most Israelis want.
Israeli army faces a revolt from the right "When it comes to the crunch these rabbis are saying there is a higher law
than the law of state," says Yossi Alpher, former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies in Tel Aviv.
"This is a very serious challenge not only to the military but to the rule of law."
PART 2: The US-Israel tag-team act As the US presidential election campaign is coming to a close and Iraq continues
to burn, another dangerous diplomatic tussle is taking place: the United States and Israel are acting as a tag-team against
the potential emergence of Iran as a nuclear power. The stakes are high in this tussle.
ACLU files suit over FBI questioning of Muslims In its lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco, the civil rights
advocacy group said it had received reports that numerous individuals had been "interrogated" by the FBI since the
summer "solely because they are Muslims or of Middle Eastern descent." Click Here...
US fire killed two Fallujah girls: rescuer Villager Mahmoud Mohammed says the mother of the two girls and the
driver of the car, who have both been wounded, had told him a US tank had fired at the vehicle in Naamiya,
10 km south-east of Fallujah.
Witness says CIA oversaw abuse at Abu Ghraib Witnesses in the trial of a U.S. soldier charged with abusing
prisoners at Abu Ghraib have told the court that the CIA sometimes directed abuse and orders were received from
military command to toughen interrogations.
Muslim scholars arrested in Iraq The head of the Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS) office in Kubeisa in
western Iraq was arrested along with four other members. They were on their way back from Baghdad when
US forces stopped their convoy and arrested them.
British hostage pleads London to withdraw from Iraq as violence flares Kidnapped British aid worker Margaret
Hassan pleaded for London to save her life by scrapping a plan to redeploy Britain's troops in Iraq and by pulling
them out, as more than a dozen people died in clashes around the country. "Please help me, please help me, these
might be my last hours," ... "I will die like Mr (Kenneth) Bigley," http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1515&ncid=1515&e=1&u=/afp/20041022/wl_mideast_afp/iraq
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
|Palestine News Reports|
|October 20, 2004|
|Below are links to news reports regarding Palestine.|
|A schoolgirl riddled with bullets. And no one is to blame The schoolgirl kept on walking toward the tower but was still|
several hundred metres away when two shots caught her in the leg. She dropped her bag, turned, tried to hobble away,
and fell. Four or five soldiers emerged from the army post and shot at her from a distance. Palestinian witnesses and some
Israeli soldiers say that the platoon commander moved in closer to put two bullets in the child's head.
(This Action is clearly not Anti-Semite, looking at the silence...!)
Action Alert: Release Non-Violent Activist Ahmad Hassan Khalil Awad! Ahmad works closely with Abu Ahmad in
organizing non-violent civil resistance to the Wall in Budrus and is an active member of the Committee Against the
Separation Wall in the Northwest Jerusalem Region.
Palestinians challenge fence route in Hebron Hills The petition claims the fence's route will damage the residents'
lives and their livelihood. The petitioners are claiming that land-seizure warrants recently issued by the government
are illegal. According to Israel Radio, the petition also claims the maps attached to the warrants are unclear.http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/491865.html
Internationals Beaten in Village of Al-Hatab Near Nablus Violence escalates as Israeli soldier puts gun to head of
Swedish national and threatens to pull the trigger... At approximately 9:00AM, 18 internationals accompanied Palestinian
farmers to their olive groves to harvest their olives near the village of Al-Hatab, East of Nablus. PalSolidarity
Holocaust survivor protests wall So I did not imagine that the Israeli security force that guards Ben-Gurion Airport
would abuse a 79-year-old Holocaust survivor, holding me for five hours and performing a completely unnecessary
strip search of every part of my naked body.
Palestine: the assault on health and other war crimes The coherence of the Palestinian health system is being destroyed.
The wall will isolate 97 primary health clinics and 11 hospitals from the populations they serve. Qalqilya hospital,
which primarily serves refugees, has seen a 40% fall in follow up appointments because patients cannot enter the city.http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article3247.shtml
Media Pro Greta Berlin Will Show Her Power Point Presentation Anywhere in U.S. “Now these same children's
eyes look out in TV footage from Rafah as they witness Israeli bulldozers demolish their homes and see American-made
Apache helicopters fire missiles on them. How will they ever see a better world,” Berlin asked, “when the Israeli military
forces this deliberate carnage on their families?
PPS: Israeli Prison Services Further Humiliate Palestinian Prisoners According to testimonies gathered from several
prisoners like N'aeema Nakhla (needing special care) from the West Bank refugee camp of Jalazoun, Abeer Amro
(backbone problems) from Hebron and Maha Alka'ek (mentally ill), the prison's service offer pain killers for most cases only.http://www.ipc.gov.ps/ipc_new/english/details.asp?name=622
IDF soldier killed in blast on Philadelphi Route in Gaza In a leaflet that was distributed, Hamas claimed responsibility for
the blast that killed First Sergeant Major Moshe Elimelech, from the Engineering Corps, saying militants had attacked soldiers
and civilian contractors in the area.
Emergency Aid to Gaza! The Middle East Children's Alliance will send your contribution to purchase emergency food
and medical aid for children in the Gaza Strip.
Armed wings issue joint statement over deaths of 2 Palestinians The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, armed wing of the
mainstream Fatah movement, and Saraya al Quds, armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, issued a joint statement on Thursday,
asserting that the Israeli army killed two militants in Gaza.
UNRWA Gaza Field assessment of IDF Operation Days of Penitence During the operation, approximately 36,000
Palestinians in different locations, including Beit Hanoun (22,000 persons), Izbet Beit Hanoun (5,000 persons), the areas
east of Sikka St. and Salah Eddin St (2,500 persons), Nada and Awda towers (2,500 persons) and parts of Jabalia camp
(4,000 persons) were under siege. October 2004 has been the deadliest month so far, with 112 killed
Domino UN. Org
UN: Gaza offensive left 675 homeless In its assessment of Operation Days of Penitence, which began late last month
and was wrapped up over the weekend, the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) said 91 buildings, home
to 143 families, had been destroyed. "Over 90 percent of those affected were refugees.
Israeli Arabs slam policeman's promotion The families of Israeli Arabs who were killed in the October 2000 riots
expressed outrage on Wednesday over the promotion of police Brigadier General Bentzi Sau, who was the commander
of the Border Police in the north during the clashes. During the riots, 12 Israeli Arabs and one
Palestinian were killed
After talks with PM, Shas leader says no to backing pullout Shas Chairman Eli Yishai said afternoon that the
ultra-Orthodox party will not back Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan when it comes to a vote in the
Knesset next week, Israel Radio reported.
Sharon removes disengagement funding from state budget bill Prime Minister Ariel Sharon decided Thursday to
separate funding for the disengagement plan from the 2005 state budget bill. The decision followed a request
Monday by Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Haaretz
Some Arab lawmakers oppose Gaza pullout Arab legislators said they struggled over their position on the
evacuation of Jewish settlements in Gaza and removal of Israeli troops. But many ultimately concluded the
"disengagement plan" would not bring Israeli-Palestinian peace closer.
European delegation to meet Arafat over Mideast peace process A senior Palestinian official saidon Thursday
that an European ministerial delegation would meet Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat before holding a conference
on thestalled Mideast peace process in Britain.
Egyptian FM, intelligence chief to visit Israel in November The visitors will meet with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom to discuss the disengagement plan and security cooperation to prevent smuggling
across the Egyptian border.
Pre-army academies join call for soldiers to obey orders These recent letters come in reaction to a petition by some
60 rabbis, including heads of hesder yeshivas - which combine Torah study and army service - calling on religious
soldiers to refuse to evacuate settlements.
Israel denies pullout will crush Palestinian economy Tel Aviv hit back at criticism on Wednesday that an Israeli
pullout would cause economic isolation and an increase in poverty in the Gaza Strip. According to Israel-based
experts, the pullout next year could revive the local economy if Palestinian goods and laborers can freely move in
and out of the territory.
A message from the Arab citizens And now, out of the blue, a survey has cropped up in which more than 77 percent
of those questioned said they would "support" or "definitely support" the establishment of a constitution that defines
Israel as a Jewish and democratic state that ensures full equality to Arabs.
Noam Chomsky on the State of the Nation, Iraq and the Election The latest polls about a week ago, 17%. Now, a
majority of the population thinks that we ought to equalize aid to Israel and Palestine, and we should deny aid to either
one that refuses negotiations, which would entail denying it to Israel. That's the majority of the population.
Those results are so unacceptable, the press won't report them.
In Gaza, Debate Over Pullout Plan Pits Settler Against Settler She has been threatened with eviction from her home,
her 2-year-old son was denied entry to the settlement's pre-kindergarten, and she has been ostracized by her neighbors
-- all for supporting the disengagement plan, Cohen said.
Arabs in US elections Any objective attempt to explain the deterioration of Arab-American relations must include
a process of sober introspection and self-criticism. Intractable underdevelopment and relentless despotism and
marginalisation have systematically decimated Arab civil and cultural society over the past 50 years, destroying,
in turn, the bridges of unofficial dialogue.
Sharon or disaster From the left's perspective, the matter is very simple: only Sharon can do it. If Sharon will
not be able to evacuate settlements in 2005, no one can. The occupation would become a permanent state of
affairs. Yet even from the right's perspective, the matter is not especially complicated: Sharon is the last
defender of most of the settlements.
IPI Intifada Report Says Press Freedom Deteriorating: Heavy Media Casualties, Perpetrators Go Unpunished
The International Press Institute (IPI) today published the IPI Intifada Report, a chronicle and statistical analysis
of 562 press freedom violations during the first four years of the Palestinian Uprising. At least 478 press freedom
violations were carried out by the Israeli state, including the government, the judiciary, and even the legislators.http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article3245.shtml
Joint Irish-Palestinian appeal for release of kidnapped aid chief Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern and his
Palestinian counterpart Nabil Shaath called in a joint written statement for her release for the "sake of humanity,
compassion and the people of Iraq". Ahern and Shaath said they were making the appeal in their own names and
"on behalf of the Irish and Palestinian peoples".
James Zogby: Why I'll Vote for Kerry While President Bush has been praised for projecting a vision of a Palestinian
state, every step taken by his administration has made a realization of that vision impossible. During the past four
years the administration has failed to support even its own initiatives, from the ill-fated “Mitchell, Tenet, Zinni”
plans to the now dead “road map.”
France expels two more students for defying headscarf ban France has quietly begun expelling Muslim girls for
wearing head scarves to public schools in defiance of a new law banning conspicuous religious attire. Seven girls
have been forced to leave school so far this week after two more were expelled Thursday. Haaretz
Britain agrees to send 850 troops into US-controlled zone in Iraq Britain agreed to an unprecedented US
request to redeploy 850 crack troops to a volatile area to the west of Baghdad, freeing up US soldiers for
an expected assault on the "insurgent" stronghold of Fallujah. "The government has decided that we should
accept the US request for assistance,"... click here...
BAGHDAD , Iraq - Gunmen kidnapped the head of an Iraqi government-owned construction company in Baghdad on Saturday, a brazen daylight attack in a new wave of hostage-taking across the country.
|The kidnapping occurred a day after a senior Egyptian diplomat was snatched as he came out of a mosque, and suggested insurgents were growing bolder, particularly since kidnappers scored a stunning victory by forcing the Philippines to withdraw troops to save the life of a Filipino truck driver.|
Iraqi Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi urged Egypt not to bow to the demands of the kidnappers.
"It is time for us to close ranks to fight terrorism. There is no way to budge to terrorists and give them what they want," Allawi said during a visit to Syria . "The only way to deal with terrorism is to promote justice and to close ranks, and we hope Egypt and the Egyptian government will act accordingly."
In other violence, a U.S. Marine died early Saturday of wounds sustained Friday during clashes in the Al-Anbar province, a volatile area that stretches west from Baghdad to the Syrian border, the military said. The military did not release the identity of the Marine, the 903rd U.S. military fatality in Iraq since the war began according to an Associated Press count.
Gunmen in three cars attacked a convoy carrying the chief of police for west Baghdad on Saturday as he passed near the town of Mahmoudiya south of Baghdad . Two bodyguards were killed, but Brig. Sabah Fahad escaped unharmed, said Mahmoudiya hospital director, Dr. Dawoud al-Taie.
A rocket exploded in the downtown Jubairya district in the northern city of Samarra , killing one man and injuring three other civilians early Saturday, police Maj. Sadoun al-Dulaimi said. It was unclear who fired the rocket.
Saboteurs also set off two explosions on an oil pipeline 12 miles south of Samarra late Friday, police Capt. Khaled Abdul-Amir said. The 125-mile pipeline stretches from al-Doura oil refinery in Baghdad to Beiji, north of Samarra . The extent of the damage was unclear.
Associated Press Television News footage showed bright orange flames and a thick black plume of smoke billowing from the ruptured pipeline.
Insurgents across the country have waged a violent 15-month campaign of sabotage, bombings, kidnappings and other attacks against local officials and coalition forces.
In the latest kidnapping, unidentified men riding in two cars blocked Raad Adnan's vehicle as he was driving through southeastern Baghdad on Saturday and snatched him, said Interior Ministry spokesman Adnan Abdel-Rahman.
Adnan is the general director of Al-Mansour Contracting Co., a government-owned company that carries out construction contracts for Iraqi government ministries. Adnan, a construction engineer, was a member of the Baath party and helped build some of Saddam Husseins presidential palaces.
On Friday, militants kidnapped Egyptian diplomat Mohammed Mamdouh Helmi Qutb as he left a mosque and demanded his country abandon any plans to send security experts to support Iraq 's new government, according to a video broadcast on the Al-Jazeera television station. He was believed to be the first foreign diplomat kidnapped in Iraq .
An Egyptian official told the AP on Saturday that his country's mission to Egypt has not yet been contacted by the militants, a previously unknown group called "The Lions of Allah Brigade."
"Iraqi authorities have contacted the Egyptian mission and offered help, but as yet there have been no negotiations or mediations with the kidnappers," said Badr el-din de-Souki.
The rash of kidnappings, which also included the abduction of seven foreign truck drivers Wednesday, has threatened Iraq 's efforts to rebuild the country and persuade more governments to commit troops to the coalition here.
Iraqi interim Public Works Minister Nasreen Berwari denounced the kidnappings as "inhumane and savage" attacks on Iraq 's "stability and well-being."
"This problem can only be solved when the international community as a whole supports Iraq to sustain its security for its people and the people who are coming to help Iraq , and they are very much needed at this stage," she told reporters.
The militant group holding the seven truck drivers announced new demands in a video broadcast Friday, calling on the hostages' Kuwaiti employer to pay compensation for those killed by U.S. forces in the city of Fallujah and demanding the release of all Iraqi detainees in Kuwaiti and U.S. prisons.
The group, calling itself "The Holders of the Black Banners," had originally demanded the company stop doing business in Iraq and that the hostages' countries withdraw their citizens. The group threatened to begin beheading the three Kenyans, three Indians and an Egyptian every 72 hours starting Saturday night.
"I'm trying to get in contact government officials to find out it can do. I hope it's doing the best it can," Talal Mohamed, a brother of hostage Jalal Awadh, said in Kenya .
The new demands in Friday's tape were almost certain to go unmet, but that tape did not appear to repeat the earlier beheading threat and bore no other specified ultimatum. The militants gave the company a 48-hour deadline, but it was unclear if that meant the initial deadline was extended until Sunday.
Rana Abu-Zaineh, an official with the Kuwait and Gulf Link Transport, Co., said the company was negotiating with the militants and was confident the hostages would be freed. She did not provide details.
In India , External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh said the insurgents appear to be motivated by money, not politics, and that the victims may be released soon.
Militants in recent months have kidnapped roughly 70 foreigners in their campaign to force countries to withdraw troops and to scare away contractors working on reconstruction projects. At least three hostages have been beheaded.
Sunday, October 17, 2004
|Gunmen Storm Gaza Govt Office, Challenge Arafat|
|GAZA (Reuters) - Palestinian militants briefly commandeered a government building in the Gaza Strip) on Saturday, demanding President Yasser Arafat reinstate comrades they said had been dismissed from the national security forces.|
The Arafat-led Palestinian Authority, which is reeling from widespread unrest at charges of corruption in its ranks, rejected as "fabrication" the charges by al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades gunmen who stormed the governorate of Khan Younis town at dawn.
Hours earlier, unidentified Palestinians torched a two-storey police station in the nearby village of al-Zawaida.
"We are trying to determine who took advantage of the instability in the Palestinian territories to commit this crime," Mayor Ahmed Abu Zayyid said. Al-Aqsa denied involvement.
Dozens of militants barricaded in the Khan Younis office building had demanded the Palestinian president fire his nephew, Moussa Arafat, whose appointment to a top Gaza security post last week sparked armed standoffs with reformist vigilantes.
By afternoon, the militants dispersed after announcing a deal under which 11 al-Aqsa men who they said had been dismissed from security jobs by Moussa Arafat would be reinstated.
"The crisis is over, as we received a decision by President Yasser Arafat to stop the dismissal," the militants' leader, using the nom de guerre Abu al-Haj, told Reuters by telephone.
Al-Aqsa, a disparate group of Fatah young bloods, has spearheaded a revolt that erupted in September 2000 after talks on Palestinian statehood in Israeli-occupied Gaza and the West Bank stalled. Its members have also grown vocal, and violent, in challenging the old guard's grip on Palestinian government.
Moussa Arafat said no al-Aqsa members served in the security forces, nor had there been any firings. "This (Khan Younis militants' claim) is a fabrication," he said in a statement.
But Moussa Arafat added that 10 security men were under investigation on suspicion of unspecified "security offences."
Pointing to the al-Aqsa-Fatah link, Israel and the United States accuse Arafat of encouraging Palestinian violence. He denies it.
The Palestinian president shuffled security chiefs on Monday, but did not dismiss his nephew. He has also scrambled to head off a resignation threat by Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie, who demands long-awaited reform of security forces.