(AP, Mohammed Daraghmeh, 4/7/10): [Fahmi] Shabaneh, who was fired in 2008 for alleged involvement in shady land deals, has tried to reinvent himself as an anti-corruption crusader, though he has not provided proof to back up his claims against [Rafiq] Husseini.
(4/14/10): In an April 7 story about a West Bank corruption investigation, The Associated Press reported that Palestinian intelligence agent-turned whistleblower Fahmi Shabaneh was fired from his job in 2008.
Shabaneh denies he was fired at the time and has presented bank records to The Associated Press showing he received a salary from the Palestinian Authority until February 2010 when he went public with his allegations. He also presented an employment letter saying he was appointed to a different department in the intelligence services in December 2008.However, the Palestinian intelligence service says that as of 2009, Shabaneh was no longer working for it though government officials had no explanation for why he remained on the payroll until February of this year.
: Shabaneh had accused Mahmoud Abbas' chief of staff Rafiq Husseini of involvement in a scheme to extort sex in exchange for political favors. A videotape available on YouTube of Husseini climbing naked into the bed of a woman not his wife and inviting her to join him speaks for itself and stands as proof. The woman had earlier approached Abbas' office seeking assistance.
(AP, Mohammed Daraghmeh, 8/6/07): The Palestinians are eager to restore the situation quickly to what it was before the outbreak of the uprising in September 2000, including assuming full control over West Bank cities again. Israel has agreed in principle, but the military has been slow to remove its West Bank checkpoints and reserves the right to chase Palestinian militants anywhere.
"So far, we are not satisfied with the progress," said Palestinian Information Minister Riad Malki, adding that the West Bank government hopes to "take full security control of the territories."
(Karin Laub, later that day): The Israeli daily Haaretz on Monday cited Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as telling Israeli officials the Palestinian security forces aren't ready yet to assume control. The report contradicted the official Palestinian position that the West Bank towns should be handed over quickly.
Palestinian Information Minister Riad Malki insisted Monday that Fayyad, in recent meetings with Israeli officials, "affirmed that the Palestinian governemtn is ready to take control of all cities in the West Bank."
However, a senior Palestinian security official in the West Bank town of Bethlehem said his forces need more time and training.