Arafat's Death Won't Leave Void

(Ha'aretz)Arnon Regular - Arafat's death would not leave a political vacuum because his presence had not been felt on the ground for the last four years in any case, Palestinian political scientist and pollster Dr. Khalil Shikaki said Thursday. During this time, Shikaki said, Arafat "helped transfer real power from the official institutions of the Palestinian Authority, the PLO and Fatah to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Hamas and [Islamic] Jihad....Anyone who wanted to have an influence during the last four years set up a militia or sent suicide bombers." As a result, he said, the official division of authority among the new leadership "makes no difference whatsoever." None of the new leaders, such as Mahmoud Abbas or Ahmed Qurei, enjoys the support of more than 2 to 3% of the public, Shikaki said.

2004-11-12 00:00:00

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