Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

THE WORLD

Gaza Security Official Abducted

September 17, 2004|From Associated Press

GAZA CITY — Gunmen briefly abducted a senior Palestinian security officer Thursday in the latest sign of growing anarchy in the Gaza Strip, and supporters of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat staged a mass rally calling for action against vigilantes.

In a daylight ambush in Gaza City, masked men stopped the jeep of Brig. Gen. Mohammed Batrawi, financial comptroller of the security forces in Gaza, put him into another car and took him to the nearby Nusseirat refugee camp.

They held him for three hours in a house ringed with explosives, threatening to detonate the charges if police approached and to shoot journalists if they did not leave the area.

Palestinian officials said Batrawi eventually was freed, with no concessions made for his release. The kidnappers had sought to pressure Batrawi to arrange jobs in the security services for friends and relatives, the officials said.

Lawlessness has been growing in Gaza, with vigilantes abducting officials or taking over government buildings to settle personal scores or to demand jobs or housing. With the Palestinian Authority increasingly weakened by four years of fighting with Israel, rival militias are jostling for power in anticipation of the expected Israeli withdrawal from Gaza next year.

In the Jabaliya refugee camp, about 2,000 supporters of Arafat's Fatah movement, many of them armed, demanded arrests in last month's shooting attack on the deputy head of Palestinian intelligence in Gaza, Tareq abu Rajab. Abu Rajab, an Arafat ally, was wounded and two of his bodyguards were killed.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|