Powered by WebAds

Thursday, April 20, 2006

'Militants' to Lead New Palestinian Security Force

New York Times-speak is an amazing language. Anyone want to count the number of times they say 'militant' in this article? Anyone want to bet that they had a politically correct term for Nazis back in the 1930's? [Note, I added some links that do not appear in the original. CiJ]

The Palestinian interior minister announced today the creation of a new security force that will be headed by and made up of militants, a move that could potentially increase friction between the Hamas-led government and the Palestinian Authority's president, Mahmoud Abbas. [You mean that Fatah members are not 'militants'? CiJ]

The Palestinian Authority security forces are already seen as hugely overstaffed, with about a dozen different branches that employ around 60,000 members. However, most members support Mr. Abbas's Fatah movement, and Hamas says it wants to revamp the security forces, which are widely viewed as corrupt and ineffective.

The interior minister, Siad Siam, a Hamas leader, said the new "special forces" would be led by Jamal Abu Samhadana, a prominent militant who heads a faction, the Popular Resistance Committees, that has been responsible for much of the recent rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel.

"We want to end the security chaos and illegal activity in the Palestinian territories," Mr. Siam said in Gaza City. He was referring to the internal lawlessness in Palestinian areas, and not to the attacks against Israel, aides said.

Mr. Samhadana was a lieutenant colonel in the Palestinian security forces before the Palestinian uprising began in 2000. But he is best known in recent years as the leader of Popular Resistance, made up of militants from various factions including Hamas.

Mr. Samhadana is being promoted to colonel, and his force will be formed from militants recruited from various factions, said Khaled Abu Hilal, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry. The new force will work closely with the police to make arrests, Mr. Hilal added.

Israel regards the Popular Resistance Committees as one of the main factions responsible for attacks, and Israeli forces have previously attempted to kill Mr. Samhadana.


Mr. Abbas's office did not immediately comment. But the move could further complicate questions over how Mr. Abbas and the new government will divide control over the security forces.

In general, Mr. Abbas has responsibility for the intelligence agencies and services such as the presidential guards, while the Interior Ministry controls the police and related agencies.

But both sides are clearly jockeying for authority. Last month, Mr. Abbas named an ally, Rashid Abu Shbak, to a new post that would have broad security powers, including a voice in branches run by the Interior Ministry. [Abu Shbak is not exactly a tzadik either. Follow the link. CiJ]

The formation of a new Palestinian security agency also raised questions about how it will be financed.

The Palestinian Authority's chronic financial woes have become even more acute since Hamas assumed power last month. The government has not paid March salaries for some 165,000 employees.


At 5:32 AM, Blogger Lois Koenig said...

'Militants'? I seriously wonder what it takes for al-NYT to call anyone but a Jew a terrorist. The very thought frightens me.


Post a Comment

<< Home