The Corner

Abbas Is Showing Us Something

Just posted on The New York Times website:

Palestinian Leader Fires 3 Aides After Militants Shell Jewish Area

JERUSALEM, Feb. 10 – In the first serious test of the Israeli-Palestinian truce, the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas fired three of his security chiefs today, shortly after Palestinian factions launched a mortar and rocket attack on Jewish settlements in the southern Gaza Strip.

The move indicated Mr. Abbas’s intention to enforce the cease-fire he announced along with Israel’s prime minister, Ariel Sharon, at their meeting in Egypt on Tuesday.

In the wake of the shelling, Mr. Abbas held an emergency session of the Central Committee of his Fatah movement, and the body denounced the attacks by Hamas and other factions. The committee called the shelling “irresponsible acts that harm our security and the high national interests of our people.”

Mr. Abbas then sacked three prominent security chiefs in Gaza.

The swift action by Mr. Abbas is in sharp contrast to the style of his predecessor, Yasir Arafat, who died in November. After the Palestinian uprising began in 2000, Mr. Arafat did not demand that the Palestinian security forces act to prevent violence against Israel.

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