RealNews

New Palestinian Security Minister Expected To Clamp Down On Militants

Mohammed Dahlan, a Gaza strongman named to oversee Palestinian security forces, takes his Cabinet post amid expectations from the United States and Israel that he will crack down on militant groups and stop attacks against Israelis after 30 months of violence. A leader of one militant group, Hamas, has already called on him not to start a crackdown, while Israel says the performance of the new Cabinet in the security sphere will be its main test. The 41-year-old Dahlan is confident he can rein in Palestinian militias, and has said in the past he would not hesitate to use force. Dahlan became head of the powerful Palestinian Preventive Security service in Gaza in 1994 and pledged to stop attacks on Israelis by violent Islamic groups. Following the declaration of a cease-fire by Yasser Arafat in December 2001, Dahlan closed down several Hamas offices in Gaza and declared that the Palestinian Authority would not tolerate independent action by the militants. “We will arrest anyone who violates Authority decisions, and we will prevent firing of mortar shells by force,” he told The Associated Press at the time. Full Story

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