Ali Waked
October 19, 2008 - 8:00pm,7340,L-3611097,00.html

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued an decree on Monday evening ordering the dismissal of Col. Tawfik Tirawi, head of the PA General Intelligence Service in the West Bank, and Diab al-Ali, the top commander of the Palestinian security forces in the West Bank. Al-Ali is also known as Abu al-Fatah.

The unforeseen move has stirred considerable tensions amongst the ranks of Ramallah's security forces.

A source with the Palestinian security establishment told Ynet that at present time both Tirawi and al-Ali are refusing to step down. Abbas, in turn, has ordered the Palestinian security apparatuses and the Presidential Guard to prepare for any and all scenarios amidst a growing concern the schism will lead to violence.

In the Palestinian Authority the belief is that disposing of Tirawi and al-Ali is a crucial step for Abbas' comprehensive reform of the security apparatuses. In recent years Tirawi has emerged as the key defense official in the PA. Under his command the Intelligence Service became particularly adept at exposing the activity of Hamas and Islamic Jihad cells in the West Bank, undermining their attempts to carry out attacks against Israel.


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