Newsletter : 4fax1029.txt
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Sinai Suspects Likely to Face Military Trial
By Al Hayat
Suspects in the Sinai attacks are likely to face a military trial to ensure a speedy
process, "well-informed Egyptian sources" told al Hayat newspaper. Sources also said the
mastermind of the attacks regularly visited Gaza to see his family, which could mean the
attacks were planned over there.
Arafat to be Flown to Paris
By IsraelNationalNews.com, Ha'aretz & VOA News
Latest reports on Yasir Arafat's condition indicate he may be suffering from a blood
disorder that is potentially fatal. Israel has given PA officials a green light for any
travel connected to Arafat's needs.
Two helicopters from Jordan are heading to Ramallah. They will take Arafat and his
entourage to Jordan where a plane dispatched by the French government will be waiting to
fly him to a Paris hospital. Accompanying him will be his wife Suha, Abu Mazen, Saeb
Erekat, Muhmad Dahlan, Muhmad Rashid, and a number of security and media personnel. PA
officials report Arafat requested that Abu Ala remain in Ramallah to tend to the
day-to-day affairs of running the PA.
Thursday evening, a spokesman for French President Jacques Chirac called the airlift
"imminent." Arafat aides in the West Bank said he would depart the region early Friday
morning. The decision for French treatment was first reported a short while after Mr.
Arafat's wife, Suha, who lives in Paris, arrived in the West Bank to join her ailing
Aides to the Palestinian leader say he was in serious but stable condition, suffering
from influenza and a gallstone. The Associated Press said he was unable to hold down food.
However, Arafat aides later released a photo showing the smiling Palestinian leader
sitting in a wheelchair surrounded by supporters in his Ramallah compound. The photo
appeared designed, above all, to reassure the Palestinian people that Arafat might be ill,
but that he is still hanging on.
Palestinian officials are quick to say that Arafat is in stable condition and they seem
eager to avoid discussion of the looming question of who will take over the Palestinian
leadership, should the ageing leader become incapacitated or die. Palestinian legislator
Hannan Ashrawi said that attitude, displayed by those around Arafat, was understandable.
"They want to make sure that things proceed smoothly, that institutions function and that
despite the fact that the president is indisposed that there is a political system
functioning and everybody's hopeful that he will recover," she said.
Over the years, Arafat has made sure he remained the one central figure in Palestinian
politics and he never groomed a successor. Despite the fact that Israeli forces have kept
him under virtual house arrest in his Muqata compound in Ramallah for more than two years,
and despite efforts by Israel and the United States to sideline him, Arafat remained the
undisputed leader of the Palestinians. But, he is 75 years old and has been reported in
failing health for some time. So the question of succession is an obvious one.
Several names have been raised as likely candidates. Among the obvious choices would be
long-time Arafat associates, Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and his predecessor Mamoud Abbas.
Other possible Arafat successors being mentioned include Rawhi Fattouh, the speaker of the
Palestinian parliament, former Palestinian Security Chief Mohammed Dahlan and imprisoned
Palestinian activist Marwan Barghouti. There has also been talk that a committee might be
formed to fill the role-played by Arafat.
The State Department said Thursday it hopes that Arafat "gets the medical care he needs
to return to health." The Bush administration ceased political dialogue with Arafat more
than two years ago. But the State Department said U.S. diplomats have been in touch with
both Palestinian and Israeli officials on the Palestinian leader's latest health crisis,
including plans for his possible treatment abroad and return to Ramallah.
At a news briefing, State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher noted that Israeli
officials have committed to facilitating access to proper medical care for Arafat, and
that arrangements for his treatment and travel were being "worked out in a constructive
manner" between Israel and the Palestinians. He said it is not a political issue for the
United States, but rather a matter of seeing that an "ill person gets the medical care he
needs to return to health."
Under questioning, the spokesman said it was not appropriate to speculate on what might
happen in the event of the death of the 75-year-old Mr. Arafat. Yet, he downplayed the
notion it might touch off violent upheaval among Palestinians. "If you do follow what is
going on out there, and we have been, the Palestinians seem to be working out their own
arrangements for governance and responsible leadership," he said. "They have a prime
minister, they have a government. So, we're following those discussions among them at this
point. But that's where it should be. It's going to be something they're going to have to
work on, whether it's during a period of illness, or something else."
Israeli Knesset member Benny Elon has asked the Defense Minister to give advance notice
that Arafat will not be buried in Jerusalem. Uri Ariel of the National Union made the
warning that "Many thousands of right-wing demonstrators will bodily prevent Arafat from
being buried in Jerusalem."
MK Benny Elon, also of the National Union, has turned to Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz,
asking him to declare that Israel will not allow terrorist leader Arafat to be buried in
Jerusalem. Other MKs have made a similar request to Prime Minister Sharon and Mofaz. "I
have no problem with not burying him at all," Elon said this morning, "but rather
scattering his ashes like they did with Adolph Eichmann. But if he is to be buried at all,
then at least it shouldn't be in Jerusalem." He said that such an announcement must be
made before Arafat's death.
"The police must be prepared for a funeral procession in which the Arabs will try to
burst into Jerusalem," Elon said. "It could be an explosive situation... We must not allow
the scenes from Feisal Husseini's wild and nationalistic funeral, which was a blow to
Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem, to repeat themselves." When Husseini was buried in
June 2001, thousands of Arabs waving PA flags essentially took over parts of northern
Jerusalem during the funeral procession. Prime Minister Sharon refused to allow Arafat to
enter Jerusalem for the funeral.
Hebron resident and head of the National Jewish Front Baruch Marzel announced Thursday
that if Arafat dies, PA officials would undoubtedly make an effort to have him interred on
the Temple Mount." I call on the Jewish masses to block his body in such an occurrence to
prevent the murderer or murderers who is dripping with the blood of thousands of Jews from
being buried on the Temple Mount."
Arafat is directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent Israeli
citizens, the deaths of untold numbers of Arabs and the killing of more than 100 U.S.
citizens. Among the Americans were two diplomats, whose cruel murders in Sudan Arafat
ordered by radio from his Beirut headquarters. In 1995, Ariel Sharon said, "I don't know
anyone other than Arafat who has as much civilian Jewish blood on his hands since the time
of the Nazis."
Christopher Boltanski and Jihan El-Tahri revealed in their 1997 biography, "Les sept
vies de Yasser Arafat " that Arafat was born in August 1929, in Cairo - and not in
Jerusalem or Gaza, as Arab sources often claim.
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