Unknown masked armed men stopped and prevented on Saturday a Palestinian Diplomat from leaving the Gaza Strip through Rafah crossing point, in the southern Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources reported on Saturday.

 

Witnesses said about 40 armed men, believed to belong to Fatah Hawks, one of the movement’s armed groups, blocked traffic at the Rafah crossing at the Egyptian border, searching for cars with diplomatic license plates. Shaer Abu Ayada, a consul in North Korea, was then held.  The masked men seized his diplomatic passport and set him free.
 
While some describe it as a sign of lawlessness in the Palestinian areas, others view it as a step to pressure the Palestinian Authority to speed up the process of merging these groups with the security forces and pay them salaries.
 
‘We have rights,’ one of the gunmen identified as Muhammed said. ‘One of our rights is to be hired by Palestinian security.’
 
Muhammed, said the men want jobs as Palestinian policemen, but are considered too old.
 
He said the PA targets young people between the ages of 18 – 22.  Most of members of Fatah hawks are in their late 20s and early 30s.
 
The Palestinian Authority started a process of absorbing the fighters and the wanted activists in its different departments and especially in the security forces.
 
It has already completed the absorption in Jericho and Tulkarem and is ready to carry on the same process in the areas that Israel hands over to the Palestinian Authority.
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