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Palestinians Protest Arafat Appointments - 2004-07-18


Thousands of Palestinians have marched in the Gaza Strip to protest President Yasser Arafat's new security appointments.

Demonstrators, some of them armed, took to the streets in Gaza City and Khan Younis, accusing the Palestinian Authority of corruption.

Mr. Arafat ordered a shake-up in Gaza Saturday, merging a number of security branches and naming a close relative, Mousa Arafat, as head of public security.

The move was aimed at resolving a crisis caused by a spate of kidnappings in Gaza on Friday, but protesters denounced the appointment, saying it would do little to improve security.

Earlier, Mr. Arafat refused to accept the resignation of Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia who said Gaza was in an "unprecedented state of chaos."

Information for this report is provided by AFP and Reuters.

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