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P.A. Shifts Senior Security Posts

The Palestinian Authority (P.A) is reforming its security apparatus while trying to make the system smaller and more efficient.

The P.A. leadership is trying to reduce its security branches from eleven to three.

Senior security figures were posted in different positions over the weekend.

Amin Al-Hindi, head of the general intelligence in Gaza, has been appointed a special adviser to P.A. Chairman Mahmoud ‘Abbas with a rank equaling that of a minister.

Mousa Arafat, who was head of the national security apparatus and military intelligence in Gaza, has been appointed a military adviser to ‘Abbas and will also carry a ministerial rank. ‘Abbas appointed Suleiman Khalas in Arafat’s place. Khalas will be heading the security forces in Gaza throughout Israel’s planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip this summer.

‘Abbas is tying to flex muscles and prove to the international community, especially the United States, that he is capable of making core changes in his security system which is considered over-staffed and inefficient.

‘Abbas agreed on the reshuffling with his Prime Minister Ahmad Qurei’ and the new Interior Minister Na’sr Yousuf.

Also, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported that about ten officers with the rank of major general have been retired from service over the past few weeks. All officers over the age of 60, numbering between 700 and 1,000, will be released from service in the coming months.