Newsletter : 2fax0506.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
End Of The Road For Arafat?
National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice said Sunday that the
"current direction of the Palestinians" does not allow for the
establishment of a Palestinian state." Speaking to television
interviewers, she specified that the problem lies with Yasir Arafat
and his leadership. Amidst increasing calls even within the PA for
changes and improvements, PA Cabinet member Nabil Amar submitted
his resignation Saturday, explaining that Arafat had rejected his
demand for "deep reforms" in the Cabinet and the PA's security
Sharon Takes Peace Plan to Washington
By VOA's Ross Dunn (Jerusalem), Paula Wolfson (Washington) & Gamla
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is visiting the United States with a
new peace plan that proposes excluding the Palestinian leader,
Yasir Arafat. But he may a have hard time convincing President Bush
during their meeting Tuesday. Sharon is proposing a new peace
process that would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian State
- without Arafat as its president.
Before leaving for the United States, the prime minister told
reporters that he wanted to discuss with Bush his plan for peace
with the Palestinians. He insisted that. Arafat should not be
allowed to take part in negotiations.
Sharon said he will present a detailed report linking Arafat to
terror attacks. Under Sharon's plan, Israeli military operations
inside Palestinian areas would stop, provided there were no more
During an interim period, the Palestinian Authority would be
allowed to rebuild its infrastructure and institutions, which were
badly damaged or destroyed during Israel's campaign to eradicate
Palestinian terror positions in Gaza and the West Bank. Sharon's
hope is that the United States and the European Union would accept
that Arafat should be replaced.
The Sharon plan, at the end of the interim period, would have
negotiations begin on the establishment of a Palestinian State, but
without Arafat. However, reports in American newspapers suggest
that Bush is far from convinced that there is another Palestinian
leader who could replace Arafat.
Meanwhile, violence continued Sunday in the West Bank. A
Palestinian woman and her two children were killed when Israeli
soldiers mistakenly opened fire on them after an explosive device
detonated near a tank in the town of Jenin. And in a separate
incident, Israeli authorities are investigating how a Palestinian
held on suspicion of attempted murder of an Israeli naval officer
was able to escape while being transported in chains earlier in the
While Ariel Sharon was making his way to Washington, Secretary of
State Colin Powell was talking about the Middle East on U.S.
television. In a series of interviews, he made clear that the
administration will press the prime minister on sensitive points,
including the future of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and
Gaza, and the need to deal with Arafat.
Powell told NBC's Meet the Press that Israel cannot hope to
negotiate peace while building new settlements. "I think it is
clear both in the previous administration and in this
administration that something has to be done about the problem of
In a subsequent interview on the ABC program This Week, the
secretary of state was asked about Israeli efforts to discredit
Arafat, and dismiss him as a negotiating partner. He said as long
as the Palestinian people back Arafat, the Israelis have to bow to
reality. "It serves our interests, the Israeli interests and the
interests of the Palestinian people and the other nations in the
region," Powell said. "It serves us all better if we continue to
work with all Palestinian leaders and to recognize who the
Palestinian people look to as their leader."
Bush has been pushing Arafat to take action to combat terrorism and
violence, and has said the Palestinian leader has not earned his
trust. The president's national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice,
told the Fox television network that the United States can not
chose the leader of the Palestinian people. During an appearance on
television's Fox News Sunday she stressed the White House strongly
believes the Palestinian Authority must implement reforms.
"The Palestinian leadership that is there now, the Authority, is
not the kind of leadership that can lead to the kind of Palestinian
state that we need," she said. "It has got to reform, it has got to
make changes in the security apparatus, in the Constitution, in the
way that it leads."
Ignorant of his prospects in the White House, Sharon decided to put
together some cards of his own. First he leaked details of his
peace plan - one drawn up by Israel's national security council and
gathering dust in a bottom drawer. Then, he chose a more powerful
card: publication of the Barghouti file.
The Ramallah Fatah-Tanzim chief Marwan Barghouti was arrested two
weeks ago towards the end of Operation Defensive Shield. He has
been under intense interrogation since. The file contains his
testimony on how he planned dozens of shooting, bombing and suicide
attacks against Israelis and recruited terrorists for perpetrating
them. The testimony comes in the form of written statements,
recordings and videotaped reconstructions of the attacks he led.
Running through the file is his constant assertion of Arafat's
complicity. In one place he says: "When I planned this attack and
others and found we were short of funds, I turned to Yasir Arafat
and told him we needed more money. Before approving the funds, the
president asked me to explain every detail. He knew about each
attack down to the last detail and the cost of each item needed to
put it into motion."
The GAMLA News Ticker also reported that Minister Danny Naveh, who
oversaw the writing of the 100-page document, noted that many PA
"policemen" received salaries for simply carrying out terrorist
activity against Israel.
The file also shows that the EU sent over $9 million monthly to the
PA for purposes such as building homes for refugees, food and
medicine, and that Arafat diverted much of it - up to 2/3, in some
months - to the Tanzim's Al Aqsa Brigades and other terrorist
organizations. Larger sums of money from Arab countries were also
diverted in this manner. In addition, much of the money also ended
up in the pockets of senior PA officials, according to testimony
gathered by Israeli investigators.
The evidence appears to be so convincing that PA officials are not
even bothering to deny it. Ziyad Abu Ziyad, speaking with Israel
Radio Sunday morning, merely said, "We must put the past behind
us... We were at war."
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)