Saving the Palestinian Authority

(Ha'aretz) Danny Rubinstein - "Who will turn the tables and [reject] the intifada, which has lost its purpose?" asked the headline of an article written last week by Imad Shakur, an Israeli citizen who was for years an adviser to Arafat, published in the London-based Al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper. Arafat, he says, should declare that government power in the territories is entirely in the hands of the PA. Then he should demand that all the various Palestinian movements, popular-democratic front organizations, and splinter groups should turn into political parties and have the right to operate in the political arena. Para-military organizations that are not part of the political framework should be given a week to dismantle themselves. A group that did not heed the directive should be deemed illegal. Members of such dismantled groups would be incorporated in the PA's official security apparatus, and their salaries should be guaranteed for three years. The present PA government should resign, and an emergency government should be formed and include representatives of all parties that commit themselves to the reform program. Last week's announcement by the PA's National Security Council that it is establishing emergency committees to impose law and order in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is seen as unlikely to have any practical effect.

2004-02-02 00:00:00

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