Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Today's Palestinian Police Phunnies XVI

According to the CIA Factbook, there are about 1 million Palestinian Arab men between the ages of 15 and 65. According to yesterday's Phunnies, there are about 52,000 Palestinian "policemen" - more than one in twenty adult men work in "security" and the ratio of police to the general population is about 1 security officer per 67 people.

In contrast, in Canada the ratio of police to the general population is about 1:533.

Which would make the PA-controlled areas by far the safest in the world!
A group of gunmen on Sunday went on a rampage inside the offices of the online newspaper Donia al-Watan in Gaza City, destroying furniture and equipment and threatening to kill the editor-in-chief, Abdallah Issa.

Donia al-Watan is an independent newspaper that has been reporting extensively on corruption and lawlessness in the Palestinian Authority - issues that the PA-controlled media often tend to ignore.

Sources in the newspaper said the attackers were members of one of the Palestinian factions, but refused to elaborate. According to the sources, the gunmen were sent by the secretary-general of the faction to attack the offices and threaten the editor-in-chief following a critical report about him that appeared in the newspaper recently.

The attack came as PA security forces launched a massive campaign in various parts of the Gaza Strip in a bid to restore law and order. The campaign, ordered by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, comes amid growing criticism of the PA's failure to fight crime.

During the campaign, gunmen stole a PA police vehicle in the Nussairat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. PA security officials said the crackdown was directed only against criminal elements and that there would be no attempt to confiscate weapons belonging to various Palestinian militias, including Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

In more scenes of lawlessness, three Palestinians were murdered in Ramallah over the past week. One of them was a 75-year-old woman.

Gaza - The outgoing PA justice minister, Nahed Al-Rayes, affirmed that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is responsible for the "mushrooming corruption" rampant in its institutions.

Speaking at a political seminar held in Gaza city, Rayes charged that the PA "fostered the corrupt elements notorious for squandering public funds and violating the Palestinian citizens' rights".

Some PA security officers exploited their powers to "embezzle public money" as the relevant authorities remained silent towards such illegal practices, he further charged.

"The PA security elements were setting up gangs inside their apparatuses in order to loot public and private funds let alone terrorizing the citizens", the former minister charged.