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NEWS
August 20, 2004
IT'S EASY to be cynical about Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's admission this week that "some mistakes" were made during his 10-year rule. Self-criticism is not part of his public persona. And yet this obstinate autocrat recognized the need to take some personal responsibility for the corrupt, ineffectual authority that he oversees. It's the closest thing to a mea culpa that Mr. Arafat could muster after this season of discontent and protests by Palestinian factions. But Mr. Arafat's speech to Palestinian lawmakers will be written off as another public relations ploy if he doesn't accede to demands that he reform his government and share power.
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NEWS
By New York Times News Service | November 13, 2007
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- At least six Palestinians were killed and more than a hundred wounded yesterday when a mass rally marking the third anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat, the longtime Palestinian leader, ended in armed clashes between the rival factions of Hamas and Fatah. All of the dead and most of the wounded were Fatah supporters who had been taking part in the rally, according to doctors at two Gaza hospitals. Tens of thousands of Gaza residents had turned out to honor Arafat, the founder of the Fatah movement, in the largest show of support for the mainstream Palestinian organization since the Islamic group Hamas seized control of the territory last June.
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NEWS
September 15, 2002
PALESTINIAN LAWMAKERS had the chance last week to act decisively on calls for government reform -- and they took it. A majority of the Legislative Council pushed to reject Yasser Arafat's reshuffled Cabinet, rather than be cajoled into accepting his choices, including some suspected of corruption. Before the council adjourned on Thursday, Mr. Arafat's Cabinet resigned. This was not business as usual -- and the council should be applauded for standing up to the Palestinian president. But Mr. Arafat offered them little choice.
NEWS
November 11, 2007
RAMALLAH, West Bank -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas dedicated Yasser Arafat's sleek new mausoleum in a ceremony yesterday, drawing on his predecessor's continued popularity as he heads into peace negotiations with Israel. The dedication of the mausoleum, on the third anniversary of Arafat's death, was meant to boost Abbas' legitimacy as he faces a stiff challenge from the rival Hamas. Arafat died at age 75 in a French military hospital, after spending his final years under Israeli siege at his West Bank headquarters.
NEWS
By Ilan Berman | November 3, 2004
WASHINGTON - For years, analysts and political pundits alike have been predicting Yasser Arafat's demise. And for just as long, the Palestinian strongman has managed to prove them wrong. But news that the world's most prominent terrorist-turned-statesman may be seriously ill has reopened concerns about the future of Palestinian politics. There is indeed ample cause for concern. Whether now or later, Mr. Arafat's departure from the political scene is certain to be bumpy. Ever since his triumphant return to the Palestinian territories a decade ago, Mr. Arafat has put a premium on monopolizing power.
NEWS
July 7, 1994
Yasser Arafat's triumphal visit to Gaza and oath-taking in Jericho launched the autonomous but non-sovereign state of Palestine. His immediate departure to Paris for talks with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel maintained the momentum toward incorporating the West Bank into the new entity.But the potential for internal conflict is all too apparent. Every sovereign Arab state is a strongman's stronghold, be he monarch or general, traditionalist or Marxist. Mr. Arafat shows every sign of expecting to be that strongman.
NEWS
September 24, 2002
A LITTLE MORE than a week ago, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's political profile read like that of a political has-been. His Cabinet resigned rather than face a vote of no confidence from the elected Palestinian Legislative Council. His attempts at reform -- a prerequisite to U.S. support for an independent state -- were revealed as a sham. Then came the Israeli invasion of Mr. Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah, a spectacle of cannon blasts, clouds of fiery smoke and buildings bulldozed into rubble.
NEWS
By Marc Ginsberg | December 6, 2001
WASHINGTON -- Chairman Yasser Arafat's self-proclaimed state of emergency and commitment to arrest Palestinian militants after the recent horrendous suicide attacks against Israel has all the earmarks of just another Hollywood rerun -- rounding up the usual suspects for the cameras. The purpose is to buy more time to avoid taking decisive action against terrorists and defining a peace acceptable to Israel. For Mr. Arafat, even in the face of worldwide demands for decisive action, yet another hour of indecision and procrastination has arrived.
NEWS
By Los Angeles Times | December 29, 1994
JERUSALEM -- A fight between Palestinian villagers and Jewish settlers over a rocky West Bank hilltop grew into a full-blown crisis yesterday between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat demanded that work be halted immediately on the disputed land, which lies on the outskirts of El Khader village, south of Bethlehem. Mr. Arafat's call was echoed by left-wing members of Israel's coalition government.Mr. Arafat appealed to Western governments to intervene, sending a letter to consulates accusing Israel of violating the Israeli-Palestinian peace accord.
NEWS
By George F. Will | March 27, 1997
WASHINGTON -- Israel's critics, who are legion and live in safe neighborhoods, say Israel is being provocative. Actually, Israel's being is provocative.On one day Palestinian violence is said to have been provoked by the opening of a tunnel. On another day the provocation is said to be the beginning of construction of apartments.But the real reasons for the violence are: Violence has always been part of the warp and woof of Yasser Arafat's politics (remember, he once wore a pistol to the U.N. podium)
NEWS
By JOHN MURPHY and JOHN MURPHY,SUN FOREIGN REPORTER | January 18, 2006
RAMALLAH, West Bank -- They did their best to remind voters of Fatah's storied past. Organizers of the rally for Fatah - the party of Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, the party that is the core of the Palestinian government - blared decades-old fighting songs from loudspeakers. Speech after speech recalled generations of Fatah members wounded, imprisoned or killed during countless clashes with Israel. A poster of Arafat loomed above the stage. But Fatah leaders could not hide the fact that with a week to go before the Palestinians' first legislative elections in 10 years, the party is in trouble, at war with itself and facing the prospect of losing its once unquestioned leadership of the Palestinian cause.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | September 8, 2005
JERUSALEM - The medical records of Yasser Arafat, which have been kept secret since his unexplained death last year at a French military hospital, show that he died from a stroke that resulted from a bleeding disorder caused by an unidentified infection. The first independent review of the records, obtained by The New York Times, suggests that poisoning was highly unlikely and dispels a rumor that he might have died of AIDS. Nonetheless, the records show that despite extensive testing, his doctors could not determine the underlying infection.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | April 1, 2005
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas ordered a crackdown on street chaos yesterday after gunmen fired shots at his headquarters here late Wednesday night and then ran riot, damaging restaurants and shopping areas as police ran away. "The Palestinian Authority has taken urgent steps to re-establish security, deal with the perpetrators and protect public property," the government said, after an urgent meeting called by Abbas, known as Abu Mazen. "Units are deployed to prevent any new aggression," the statement said, promising compensation to those who suffered losses in the rioting.
NEWS
By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | February 25, 2005
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas nearly erased the legacy of the late Yasser Arafat from the government yesterday as he swore in a new Cabinet packed with academics and professionals given the task of rooting out corruption and overhauling his Palestinian Authority. Abbas left only a handful of Arafat's old guard in charge during the run-up to parliamentary elections and Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in July. The vote ended a bitter battle between Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and Palestinian lawmakers over Qureia's resistance to replacing most of the members of his Cabinet.
NEWS
By Ken Ellingwood and Ken Ellingwood,LOS ANGELES TIMES | February 9, 2005
JERUSALEM - It began, as it had last time and the time before, with a celebratory handshake and soaring rhetoric about a chance for peace in this ravaged land. Yesterday's landmark summit, during which Israel and the Palestinians announced they would cease violence, harkened back to past chapters of peacemaking - all with unhappy endings. The last time the two sides appeared this hopeful was in 1993, when then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat sealed the Oslo peace accord with a famous handshake on the White House lawn.
NEWS
January 11, 2005
NOW THE difficult work begins for Mahmoud Abbas. After handily winning the Palestinian presidency Sunday, Mr. Abbas has to transform his victory with 62 percent of the vote into a platform for reform and change. And he will require significant help from the United States, Europe and Israel to carry out that goal with the aim of restarting peace talks. Mr. Abbas is in a precarious spot - he has to try to effect substantive change without controlling the levers of change. Palestinians who chose Mr. Abbas as the successor to the late Yasser Arafat want and deserve relief from the harsh restrictions of Israel's occupation, which has intensified in the four years since Palestinian militants unleashed a scourge of suicide bombers and rocket attacks against the Jewish state.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | December 22, 2004
JERUSALEM - Mahmoud Abbas, who is expected to win the Jan. 9 elections to succeed Yasser Arafat as Palestinian president, praised Arafat's legacy in a speech yesterday marking the end of the 40-day mourning period for the former leader. Abbas, 69, who has succeeded Arafat as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, was lavish in his praise as he spoke in Arafat's old headquarters in Ramallah. "No words of homage are sufficient to commemorate his memory," Abbas said in the presence of Palestinian notables and Arab representatives, in a speech sometimes broken by bursts of gunfire homage from the crowd outside.
NEWS
By Natan Sharansky | December 14, 2004
YASSER ARAFAT is dead. A so-called moderate is now chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Elections to choose a Palestinian Authority president are scheduled in the West Bank and Gaza for early January. Optimists see an opportunity for restarting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the possibility of a meaningful and comprehensive settlement of the conflict. But whether this will really prove to be a positive turning point in the search for peace in the Middle East depends on whether we have learned from the failures of the past.
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