|Ruben Safir Secretary NYLXS
|Re: [hangout] Arafat Dead - and the beat goes on..
Deadly Shooting at Arafat Mourning Tent in Gaza City
Nov 14, 2004 Jerusalem
A shooting at the tent set up for mourners at the grave of Yasser Arafat
in the West Bank city of Gaza City has left two security guards dead
and four others injured. The gunfire erupted just as Mahmoud Abbas,
the man who succeeded Mr. Arafat as head of the PLO arrived at the tent.
The shooting went on for several minutes as Mahmoud Abbas arrived late
in the day at the mourning tent set up near the grave of Yasser Arafat
in the Muqata compound in Gaza City. Witnesses said gunfire started
about five minutes after Mr. Abbas arrived.
Associated Press Television News pictures showed a group of about 20 men
entering the mourning tent where Mr. Abbas, former Palestinian security
chief Mohammed Dahlan and other key Palestinian leaders had come to mourn.
The gunmen, clad in green, shouted "Abbas and Dahlan are agents for the
Americans." Gunfire then tore through the tent.
Mr. Abbas was hustled into a corner and thrown to the ground by his
bodyguards as frightened mourners fled. He was quickly taken away from
the scene and then left the Muqata compound.
There have been widespread fears that Mr. Arafat's death could trigger
an outbreak of chaos and lawlessness.
Senior Palestinian leaders close to Yasser Arafat have moved quickly to
ensure a calm transition of power prior to elections, now scheduled to be
held by January 9th. Mahmoud Abbas has assumed leadership of the P.L.O.,
but he has little grassroots support and is not popular among militant
Palestinians who oppose his rejection of the use of violence to achieve
Sunday's clash underscores fears that the factional violence already
plaguing the Gaza Strip could spread to the West Bank and undermine the
interim collective leadership of Palestinian moderates who are leading
Palestinians towards elections for a successor to Yasser Arafat.
This article uses material from VOA.
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