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Arafat Fires Cousin as Gaza Security Chief - 2004-07-20


Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has reinstated his former head of security in an effort to defuse a crisis over alleged corruption in his government.

Mr. Arafat today (Monday) fired the cousin he appointed last week as head of Palestinian security, and re-appointed Brigadier General Abdel Razek Majaide.

The move came after two-days of violent protests in Gaza over alleged corruption and cronyism in the Palestinian Authority.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia says he stands by his resignation Saturday over the situation in Gaza. Mr. Arafat has refused to accept Mr. Qureia's resignation.

The United States today accused Mr. Arafat of hindering the consolidation of the Palestinian security services and other reforms needed to stabilize Gaza.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher adds U.S. officials are monitoring the situation in Gaza and the West Bank with deep concern.

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