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September 11, 2005

A Regular Robbery?

Moussa Arafat: Another Victim of Simple Robbery? (Photo by Mohammed Salem/Reuters)

Recall the apparent "honor killing" case last April which Ha'aretz's Arnon Regular reported as a robbery? The British Independent, the BBC, the Jerusalem Post, and the AP all reported the murder of 20-year-old Yusra al-Azami and her fiancé as an "honor killing" for which Hamas later apologized because the couple, in a car together with their siblings, was actually engaged.

But, at the time, Regular discounted the "honor killing" story, and instead stood by his report that the gunmen "apparently were attempting to rob the couples."

It seems that Regular is again spreading tales of robbery in another murder case which was widely reported under far different circumstances. "Mousssa Arafat's son says his father was killed during an armed robbery attempt," is the headline of Regular's news brief today. It reads:

Manhal Arafat, the son of Moussa Arafat, the Palestinian Intelligence chief who was assassinated in Gaza last Wednesday, said Friday that his father was killed during an armed robbery attempt that "outside parties are trying to exploit for their own purposes." Arafat said the militants who attacked the house where he and his father were staying wanted to steal arms and weapons. Manhal Arafat, who was abducted during the raid and released Thursday night, said he expected the Palestinian Authority to find his father's murderers, and that he had no intention of engaging in a blood feud.

Just as in his earlier article about the killing of al-Azami, Regular provides no information which contradicts the shaky robbery version. For instance, it has been widely reported that the Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility for the attack. As the Jerusalem Post reported Thursday, Abu Abir, a spokesman for the group,

said his group would later issue a detailed statment about the assassination and its motives. He accused Arafat of corruption and murder and vowed to pursue other senior Palestinian officials involved in similar "crimes" against the Palestinians. "We have a comprehensive plan to fight rampant corruption in the Palestinian ministries and institutions," he said.

Also, the Post reported:

Many Palestinians in the Gaza City said Wednesday's assassination of General Moussa Arafat . . . could not have been carried out without the involvement of at least one of the PA's official security branches.

Eyewitnesses reported that some of the gunmen who participated in the raid on Arafat's two-story villa in the Tal as-Hawa neighborhood used armored vehicles belonging to one of the security organizations.

Manhal, who's going to believe the robbery story aside from Arnon Regular?

Posted by TS at September 11, 2005 04:17 AM


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