Abbas Fires Officials after Gaza Violence

Abbas takes action after Gaza violence (CNN)

One top Palestinian security officer was fired, another resigned and a third was asked to step down after Palestinian militants fired mortars at Israeli communities in Gaza, security officials said Thursday. Officials said Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sacked Omar Ashur, security commander for southern Gaza, and a number of his officers and called for the resignation of Maj. Gen. Abdel Razek Majaidem, head of the National Security Guard. Police commander Saeb al-Ajis submitted his resignation, officials said.

The move comes after Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced a cease-fire agreement at this week’s summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt — the first upper-level meeting between Israeli and Palestinian leaders in more than four years. Abbas took action after a volley of mortar fire by Palestinian militants in Gaza at Israeli communities Thursday. Earlier, Palestinian gunmen stormed a Gaza jail, shooting and killing three inmates over a family dispute.

Arafat did these things for show, only to reverse course once the heat was off. One hopes Abbas will take a different course.

Update: “Captain Ed” Morrissey believes we’re seeing a repeat of the tired Palestinian dance:

I give this cease-fire another week of attacks, and then I predict it will crumble under the same old Palestinian triangle offense, just like all the others. When the Palestinians want peace, they can have it. Right now they’re choosing murder and misery, and they will get that instead.

I certainly wouldn’t be surprised by that outcome; indeed, it’s the most likely. Abbas has the opportunity, though, to chose a different path. Even the likes of Charles Krauthammer are optimistic.

An immediate end to terrorist violence is too much to ask. No national leader has that kind of control. What is required, however, is for the Abbas government to crack down on Hamas and other terrorist perpetrators and make progress.

FILED UNDER: Middle East, Terrorism, , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. dw says:

    I think you have to be optimistic right now. Abbas is fighting years and years of history. I hope that this is real and not just another game of musical chairs.

    If it’s not, we’ll know soon enough.