Palestinian security chief gunning for Arafat's job : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Poster's note: The World Tribune is not my favorite source for info, but this would be good news...IF true.


Palestinian security chief gunning for Arafat's job

Special to World


Tuesday, October 23, 2001

RAMALLAH A Palestinian security chief with close ties to Israel and the United States has emerged as a leading player in the struggle to succeed Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.

Palestinian sources said Col. Jibril Rajoub, head of the PA Preventive Security Apparatus, has been meeting U.S. and European diplomats over the last month and has presented himself as the favorite to succeed the 72-year-old Arafat. Rajoub, 55, told the diplomats that he is the only Palestinian figure who can restore stability to the region and resume peace talks with Israel, the sources said.

The claims by Rajoub has angered Arafat supporters as well as rivals within the PA. Critics assert that Rajoub has been criticial of Arafat's rule and can no longer claim to be a loyalist of the Palestinian leader.

Rajoub has a force of more than 2,500 agents in the West Bank. The agency is regarded as the best-trained and equipped in the West Bank and enjoys close ties with the intelligence communities in Israel, the United States and the European Union.

Arafat has used Rajoub to stop Palestinian mortar attacks on Jerusalem. The mortar attacks were renewed, however, on late Sunday amid escalating clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian insurgents in the Bethlehem area.

Rajoub also has warned the Damascus-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine to turn in its members suspected of assassinating former Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi, including PFLP secretary-general Ahmed Saadat. Palestinian sources said Rajoub's agency has arrested four PFLP members in a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Jerusalem. On Sunday, the PA banned the military wing of the PFLP, which claimed responsibility for the assassination of the Israeli.

Israeli troops and tanks have entered the outskirts of Bethlehem as well as those of five other West Bank cities. Israeli military sources said the Israeli incursion is meant to pressure Arafat to stop Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians.

Palestinian insurgency attacks, however, continued in Jerusalem. On Monday, a Palestinian gunman shot and wounded five Israelis, three of them seriously, in what began as a dispute over money. The gunman was shot and killed by a passer-by.

-- Jackson Brown (, October 23, 2001

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