Fatah leaders blamed for fall of Gaza

Committee of inquiry's 200-page report names officials, security forces members.

By
July 27, 2007 18:16
2 minute read.
Fatah leaders blamed for fall of Gaza

Hamas takes control 298.. (photo credit: AP)

 
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Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said Friday that Fatah leaders and security officers held responsible for the fall of Gaza to Hamas would be punished, in line with findings in a 200-plus page report by a committee of inquiry. The committee said some 60 Fatah officials and members of the security forces should be held accountable for the quick collapse of Fatah forces in five days of fighting with Hamas last month. However, neither Abbas nor his aides mentioned the names of those being held responsible by the committee and did not release the report itself. Since the fall of Gaza, some 40 members of the security services in Gaza have resigned, been fired or sent into retirement. The most prominent is former Gaza strongman Muhammad Dahlan, who resigned Thursday as national security adviser, citing health reasons.

  • 'PA finally begins tackling security' In a news conference, Abbas aide Nabil Amr said the report found many flaws in the security services, including random hiring and lack of motivation and leadership. "There was no field leadership... There were only individual initiatives," he said of the performance of the Abbas-allied forces in Gaza. Abbas said Friday that the committee's recommendations would be implemented. "Whoever had shortcomings will get his punishment, and whoever did his duty will be rewarded, so that we can turn a new page in our institutions," he said. In a news conference Friday, Abbas aide Nabil Amr said the report found many flaws in the security services in Gaza. "There was no field leadership ... There were only individual initiatives," he said of the performance of the Fatah forces in Gaza. "Procedures will be taken to prevent this from happening in the West Bank and in the future," Amr said. Abbas said Friday that the committee's recommendations would be implemented. "Whoever had shortcomings will get his punishment, and whoever did his duty will be rewarded, so that we can turn a new page in our institutions," he said. However, critics said the report appeared largely intended to deflect attention from Abbas and the Fatah leadership. "The committee didn't condemn the real persons responsible for the national catastrophe in Gaza, especially the political leadership," said analyst Khalil Shaheen. He said Abbas, the Fatah Central Committee and previous Fatah governments should be held accountable for the poor state of the security services. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, responding to the report, said Fatah and its security forces are "severely corrupt." Israeli security analyst Boaz Ganor said Abbas might not be strong enough politically to carry out a purge in the security forces. "Abbas definitely will have huge opposition and the chance that he will be able to lead a real, successful reform within the organization is at most 50-50," Ganor said.

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