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October 19, 2002

Palestinian security heads protest dismissal of chief

Oy vey! The boys are having differences
Commanders of the Palestinian Preventive
Security force met with President Yasser Arafat Saturday night to
discuss the dismissal of their chief Jibril Rajoub, Palestinian
sources said.
The six commanders represent a larger group of 600 West Bank
security force members who are unhappy with Arafat's decision to
replace Rajoub with the former governor of Jenin, Zuhair Manasra,
according to a DPA report.
The officers went to Arafat's Ramallah headquarters, intending to
tell him that they were opposed to Rajoub's dismissal but that if he
had to go he should be replaced by somebody from within the force.
Dozens of Preventive Security members met Saturday in the town of
Beitunia, southwest of Ramallah, during a brief lifting in the round-
the-clock curfew imposed on Ramallah for the past two weeks.
They discussed the changes in the leadership of their 4,000-strong
force, expressing dismay in Arafat's move and vowing to end
cooperation with the Palestinian leader unless he relents.
Rajoub accepted his dismissal after meeting with Arafat Thursday,
but said he would not take up another post. He also called on his men
not to challenge Arafat's decision.