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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 July, 2004, 12:36 GMT 13:36 UK
Press alarmed by Gaza 'chaos'

Arabic-language newspapers on Saturday expressed alarm over the deteriorating security situation in the Gaza Strip following Friday's spate of abductions by militants.

The widespread view was that the kidnappings represent a major blow to the Palestinian authorities, and will have serious implications.

In the Palestinian press, there were calls for police chief Ghazi al-Jabali, who was one of those abducted briefly, to quit. Al-Jabali was sacked by Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat on Saturday.

This strange event reflects the state of chaos and trouble prevalent in the Palestinian region. It is a state which the multi-dimensional Israeli terrorism has contributed to in many aspects.

Jordan's Al-Dustur - editorial

The kidnapping will represent a major blow to the Palestinian authority and its security organs

The kidnapping of an ordinary person by a group of armed outlaws is understandable. However, it is unbelievable for a police chief to be kidnapped in broad day light... In short, if the police chief cannot protect himself from kidnap, then how can he protect others? May God help the Palestinian people.

London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi - editorial

The Palestinian police commander's kidnapping is a negative and dangerous event for Palestinian society. It reflects the state of declining security. What perhaps is most dangerous about this kidnapping is that it strengthens the hands of Sharon's government and the US Administration. It will give credence to accusations aimed against the Palestinian authority that it cannot control the security situation and the armed groups.

Qatar's Al-Rayah - editorial

No doubt, the kidnapping will represent a major blow to the Palestinian authority and its security organs... How [the Palestinian authority] is going to handle demands by kidnappers will be the decisive indicator of the position it is in and its ability to manage unexpected and imposed crises.

Jordan's Al-Ra'y - commentary

The [Palestinian] police chief... has been exposed before to gun shots near his home, assassination attempts at his office and two of his workers have also been kidnapped... I urge him to resign because he is not capable of protecting himself nor others.

Palestinian Al-Hayat al-Jadidah - commentary

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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