Abbas orders more security reforms, hundreds of security officers to be forced to retire

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Saturday, April 2, 2005

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas has ordered hundreds of Palestinian security officers to retire.

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas has ordered hundreds of Palestinian security officers to retire as part of a plan to reform his forces and end continuing lawlessness, a Palestinian official told Reuters.

The official said that Abbas has ordered the ratification of a law which would effectively force hundreds of security officers from Fatah's older guard to retire early. The Fatah faction is widely seen as corrupt, and Abbas has promised to fight this corruption.

"Hundreds of security men will retire," the official told Reuters. He also said that the law would take effect next week.

This comes just days after Tawfik Tirawi, head of Palestinian Intelligence in the West Bank, resigned, and Abbas had several security chiefs fired for failing to curb lawlessness in the West Bank and Gaza.

Haj Ismail, head of Palestinian national security in the West Bank, who resigned Friday after Abbas called for his resignation, blamed the government for not stopping violence and lawlessness in Gaza and the West Bank in recent months. Tirawi also said that heads of other security organizations were not doing enough to halt the lawlessness when he retired.

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