Tags: Denies | Reports | Arafat's | Resignation

PA Denies Reports Of Arafat's Resignation

Sunday, 20 January 2002 12:00 AM

The Israeli online news service Arabynet quoted an unnamed senior PA official as saying Arafat was preparing to deliver a speech in the next few days announcing he would stand down.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a top aide to Arafat rejected the report saying it is "psychological warfare by the Israelis."

Former Arafat advisor Ahmed Tibi, a member of the Israeli Knesset, referred to the news as a "bad joke," adding that, "it was Israel's intention to banish the democratically-elected Palestinian president."

Arabynet said Arafat was considering resigning due to a perceived lack of international support.

Following Thursday’s attack by a Palestinian militant who killed six at a family gathering in Hadera, Israel, Arafat had little success rallying support from the United States, European Union, Jordan and Egypt.

The Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, part of Arafat's Fatah movement, claimed responsibility for the attack. Israel's army announced it would launch a campaign against Fatah targets in the next few days.

According to Arabynet, the Palestinian official said that in "recent days Arafat has been … saying he is close to paradise and wants to die as a martyr."

The report said Arafat's advisers were in the process of preparing a "security network" for him abroad, enabling the Palestinian leader and his associates to live in exile.

Thousands of Palestinians rallied in Gaza on Sunday to support Arafat, whose Ramallah headquarters in the West Bank are currently surrounded by Israeli forces.

Palestinians gathered in front of the PA parliament waving pictures of Arafat, firing into the air and chanting slogans in support of Arafat. "We sacrifice our spirits and blood for Arafat," shouted some demonstrators.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has rejected calls to end the siege on Arafat until the Palestinian leader arrests those responsible for killing Israeli cabinet member Rehavam Zeevi in October.

Israel has prevented Arafat not only from traveling abroad, but also from traveling to other towns in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Arafat did however order the arrest of Ahmed Saadat, secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which is blamed for Zeevi’s assassination.

Following Saadat’s arrest, Arafat said he wanted the PFLP leader to tell the PA the location of the two men that killed Zeevi.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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The Israeli online news service Arabynet quoted an unnamed senior PA official as saying Arafat was preparing to deliver a speech in the next few days announcing he would stand down. Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a top aide to Arafat rejected the report saying it is psychological...
Denies,Reports,Arafat's,Resignation
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2002-00-20
Sunday, 20 January 2002 12:00 AM
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