Fatah official Jibril Rajoub 370.
(photo credit: Reuters)
The Fatah legislator who physically assaulted Jibril Rajoub, chairman of the
Palestinian Football Association, denied Thursday that he had been arrested by
Palestinian Authority security forces.
Jamal Abu Rub, nicknamed “Hitler,”
on Wednesday slapped and punched Rajoub in the face at Ramallah’s Grand Park
Both Abu Rub and Rajoub are senior members of Fatah.
previously served as commander of the PA Preventive Security Force in the West
Abu Rub said in a statement that rumors that he had been arrested
Following Wednesday’s incident, the Fatah Central
Committee decided to expel Abu Rub from its ranks.
Abu Rub said in
response that this was an “illegal” decision, which violated the internal
regulations of Fatah.
He said that he has not been officially informed of
the decision to expel him from Fatah.
Abu Rub called on the Fatah
leadership and PA President Mahmoud Abbas to hear his point of view regarding
the physical assault before rushing to take any measures against him.
Rub, who enjoys the backing of many Fatah cadres in the Jenin area, pointed out
that two months ago Rajoub and his bodyguards beat him he during an altercation
According to Abu Rub, his assault on Rajoub on Wednesday
came after the latter “provoked” him.
Shortly after the incident, Fatah
gunmen loyal to Rajoub tried to storm Abu Rub’s home in Ramallah.
decision to expel Abu Rub from Fatah drew strong condemnations from his
supporters in the Jenin area.
Some reports said that scores of Fatah
activists announced their resignation from the faction in solidarity with Abu
In addition, dozens of Fatah activists blocked a main road in the
town of Kabatiya south of Jenin in protest against the expulsion of Abu
The latest tensions in Fatah coincided with a shooting attack on the
office of PA Minister for Religious Affairs Mahmoud al-Habbash in Ramallah on
Unidentified gunmen opened fire with automatic weapons
at Habbash’s office soon after he arrived at work.
bodyguards responded with gunfire. No one was hurt.
Habbash, who is very
close to Abbas, was escorted out of his office by dozens of PA policemen who
rushed to the scene.
The shooting attack is believed to be linked to a
dispute that erupted recently between the minister and top Fatah officials.