RealNews

Palestinian Police Shut Tunnel Under Security Plan

Palestinian security forces began shutting down smuggling tunnels in the Gaza Strip, trying to halt the rising tide of violence that has jeopardized the U.S.-backed “road map” to peace between Israel and Palestinians. The closures on Saturday, part of a drive by Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas to clamp down on militants, followed U.S. demands that he rein in such groups after Tuesday’s suicide bomb attack on a Jerusalem bus. The toll from the blast, claimed by Hamas, rose to 21 on Saturday after a 70-year-old woman died from her wounds. On the political front, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat’s Fatah faction approved the appointment of Nasser Yousef as Interior Minister with wide powers over security issues. Abbas has yet to approve the appointment of Yousef, who is considered close to Arafat and could compete with Palestinian security chief Mohammed Dahlan, an Abbas ally, for power in the security sector. Full Story

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