Masked men kill Arafat’s cousin

Published September 8, 2005

GAZA, Sept 7: Scores of masked Palestinian militants dragged former security chief Moussa Arafat from his Gaza home and shot him dead in the street on Wednesday after battling his guards for more than half an hour. Arafat’s son, Manhal, who is in his 30s, was abducted by the gunmen.

Moussa Arafat was the most senior figure killed in factional violence that has stirred doubt about whether security forces can keep order in the territory, seen as a proving ground for Palestinian statehood once Israelis leave.

Maj-Gen Arafat, a cousin of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, was a Gaza strongman kept as an adviser by President Mahmoud Abbas after being fired as head of military intelligence in an anti-corruption crackdown in April.

Gunmen fired rifles and anti-tank grenades at Arafat’s guards. The militants shot him dead close to a headquarters of the security forces in Gaza City.

A militant coalition, the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), claimed responsibility for what it called the “liquidation” of Arafat and kidnapping of his son.

“We have executed the will of God and the rule of law because he killed people, ordered assaults on fighters and he had a big file of corruption,” PRC spokesman Abu Abir said of Arafat, a powerful security boss in Gaza for years.

He said Arafat’s son was being questioned by his captors but did not say what the PRC would do with him.—Reuters

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