September 07, 2005

Civil War in Palestine? Arafat Cousin Assassinated, Nephew Taken Hostage

Not even a UN recognized nation-state, Palestine slowly creeps toward civil war. Who is in control of Gaza and the West Bank? No one. Israel fears bad press from its Western allies for striking at militant terror organizations such as Hamas, who openly display their weapons in organized press events, and the Palestinian Authority fears its own people, who support the terrorist cause. This is an intractible problem.

Not only did The Popular Resistance Committee assassinate the former head of PA security and cousin of Yasser, Moussa Arafat, they also have taken his son hostage.

Washington Post:

The former head of general security in Gaza, Moussa Arafat, was killed before dawn Wednesday when gunmen stormed his home here, dragged him outside and shot him in the street. The incident threatened to aggravate tensions among Palestinian factions and security services struggling for power in the Gaza Strip following Israel's evacuation of its 21 Jewish settlements here.

A militant faction known as the Popular Resistance Committees comprising disaffected members of various Palestinian parties asserted responsibility for the assassination of Arafat, who was a cousin of the late Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat. The group also claimed to have kidnapped his son, Manhal, a major in the Palestinian military intelligence service, from the three-story family home shortly after 5 a.m....

Arafat held the rank of minister and served as Abbas' military affairs adviser at the time of his murder, carried out in the street only a half-mile from the presidential compound.

"The way this was carried out underlines a very strong message, even if that message may not have been intended," said Ziad Abu Amr, an independent member of the Palestinian Legislative Council who often serves as a mediator between the various Palestinian factions. "It points out the chronic failure of the Palestinian Authority to establish law and order in Gaza and the price it is now paying for past decisions not to do so." ...

We are saying that we can take responsibility," Shaath told reporters here. "We will take all the steps necessary, and I don't think there is any doubt in anyone's mind. This is not political resistance to the occupation. This is a crime by any definition - no justifications, no pretext."

Moussa Arafat, 65, was a senior member of the important Fatah Revolutionary Council. The committee guides the secular nationalist movement that is the largest faction in Palestinian politics and whose members fill out the ranks of the Palestinian Authority....

The statement read over the phone described Moussa Arafat as a "collaborator," a term used to describe Palestinians who assist Israeli intelligence services. "He was one of the heads of the corruption and his poison spread among the Palestinian people," said a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, who identified himself as Abu Abeer. "We're going to deal with his son according to the results of the investigation we are conducting."

In response, there have been calls for the resignation of the Interior Minister, Naser Yousef, to resign. Xinhua:
A Palestinian intelligence officer Wednesday held interior minister Naser Yousef responsible for the assassination of former security chief Musa Arafat and urged him to resign.

Palestinian intelligence chief in the West Bank city of Nablus, Maher al-Fares, told a press conference that he wondered the Palestinian security forces didn't react quickly to the early morning attack on Musa's home in Gaza City which is just few metersaway from the preventive security headquarters.

He called on the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to find and punish those behind the assassination.

The one common theme running throughout press reports about the assassination and kidnapping, is that Moussa Arafat was wildly unpopular, especially among the militant youth movements in Palestine. He was at the center of accusations of corruption in the Palestinian Authority. The fact that his name was Arafat, connected his variouis high-ranking positions to the nepotism of the first-family of Palestine.

But notice that the specific charge that led to his assassination was collaboration. Thus, his execution was justified on Islamic grounds. Collaboration with the infidels is the most common reason given when terrorists murder hostages.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:49 AM | Comments |