Palestinians: Israel assassinates senior Fatah activist in West Bank; Arafat to sack interior minister
A senior Fatah activist was assassinated by Israel on Sunday evening when a public telephone exploded in his hand in the West Bank town of Beit Jala, Palestinian witnesses said.
They identified him as Mohammed Abayat, 25, a member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a group affiliated with Fatah movement. Kamal Ahmed, secretary-general of Fatah's Bethlehem branch, accused Israel of assassinating Abayat.
The witnesses said Abayat was killed by an explosion as he made a call in a public telephone booth near a hospital in Beit Jala, a town outside Bethlehem. Medical officials said the blast occurred shortly after Abayat brought his mother, who had taken ill, to the hospital for treatment.
Moussa Abayat said his 28-year-old brother "started to speak on it and it suddenly blew up. Parts of his body were everywhere." "I believe it is an assassination of my brother, who is a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade," which is linked to Fatah, the brother said.
A member of the same clan, Atef Abayat, died when his car exploded in October 2001. Another, Hussein Abayat, was killed in an Israeli rocket attack last November.
Meanwhile, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat plans to submit to the Palestinian Legislative Council a list of candidates to replace Interior Minister Abdel Razek Yehiyeh, Palestinian sources said Sunday.
The decision to garner advance approval for Yehiyeh's substitute comes as part of efforts to avoid a second confrontation with PLC members, who six weeks ago forced ministers recently appointed by Arafat to resign or face a mass vote of no confidence.
The sources indicated that Hani Al-Hassan, Fatah's temporary commissioner for the West Bank, would replace Yehiyeh.
The Al-Quds newspaper reported Sunday that other candidates for ministerial positions include Hanan Ashrawi and the president of Bir Zeit University, Dr. Hanna Nasser. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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