|Ruben Safir Secretary NYLXS
|Re: [hangout] Arafat Dead - and the beat goes on..
Never mind. The Arabs deny it happened and it was only 'over zelousnes'.
Well at least we agree on that...
Abbas survives assassination attempt in Gaza City By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
Mourners tent in Gaza City under attack Photo: Channel 2
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday night survived an apparent
assassination attempt on his life during a visit to the Gaza Strip.
Two Palestinians, one of Abbas's bodyguards and a uniformed PA policeman,
were killed when more than a dozen Palestinian gunmen opened fire toward
Abbas and former security minister Muhammad Dahlan, who was standing
next to him.
Abbas and Dahlan arrived at a tent in Gaza City to receive condolences
for the death of Yasser Arafat.
Shortly after the shooting, PA officials hurried to deny that it was an
attack on Abbas, a former PA prime minister, who was elected on Sunday
as the Fatah representative for the PA general elections.
"The shooting was a result of confusion and chaos, after gunmen arrived
at the scene [mourners' tent] and fired shots in the air," officials
"Abbas was not specifically targeted," they added. However, other
eyewitnesses said the gunmen shot specifically toward the direction
Just an over an hour after the incident, Abbas also appeared on
Palestinian TV saying the shooting was not an assassination attempt. He
said the incident was caused by over-zealousness.
Dahlan too told Al-Jazeera shortly after the attack that he believes
the shooting was not an assassination attempt on Abbas.
Eyewitnesses told The Jerusalem Post that a group of Fatah gunmen arrived
at the scene, chanting slogans against Abbas and Dahlan and condemning
them as traitors.
The gunmen shouted "Abbas and Dahlan are agents for the Americans"
and opened fire.
The gunmen also chanted, "With our blood and souls, we will redeem Abu
Abbas was rescued from the scene unhurt, the witnesses said. Security
guards hustled him into the tent and threw him to the ground for his
safety as shooting intensified. His bodyguards apparently saved his life,
but the attack cost the lives of two guards.
Abbas was later taken to Palestinian Authority headquarters.
A PA security official said the gunmen belong to Fatah's armed wing,
Aksa Martyrs Brigades.
Matthew Gutman contributed to this report
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