Ali Waked
February 16, 2010 - 1:00am,7340,L-3849734,00.html

Days after reports of the corruption affair in the Palestinians Authority and the suspension of President Mahmoud Abbas' chief of staff over a steamy sex tape, another scandal unravels: Ynet has learned that Mujahed Nimer, a top official in the Palestinian security apparatus, was arrested in recent days, on suspicion of heading a group of Fatah operatives who planned to assassinate officials in the PA and the movement.

Nimer belongs to the civilian police force – the same establishment that employed officer Muhammad Khatib, who carried out the stabbing attack at Tapuach junction which left one soldier dead. Nimer held the rank equivalent to that of commander, but currently does not serve a specific role in the security apparatus.

According to a senior Fatah source, Nimer was arrested by the security apparatus in recent days in his home near the Qalandiya refugee camp north of Jerusalem, two weeks after the authority apprehended four other members of his group – all affiliated with Fatah.

Nimer is the most senior figure in the Palestinian security apparatus to be detained on suspicion of planning out an assassination of this sort. The Fatah source declined to comment on the circumstances or the motive behind the cell's activity, but said numerous leads were being looked into, including a possible power struggle within the PA.

In the past Fatah sources said that following the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip, Hamas has been trying to recruit operatives within Fatah to target PA officials in retaliation to attacks on its men in the West Bank. However, the source said that according to an initial probe, it is unlikely that this was the motive behind the group's activity.


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