Erasing Phase One of the Road Map

(Jerusalem Report) Ehud Ya'ari - Abu Ala's government is not a revamped version of Abu Mazen's. It represents a worrying step backwards, to a format dictated and directed by Arafat. What we are left with is a cabinet that in many respects is just another of the chairman's executive branches. Arafat has managed to turn the tables and lock the "reform government" into his service. � � Arafat and Abu Ala, two veteran comrades, have prepared a two-stage plan. The first is a cease-fire brokered by the PA, that does not include any promises regarding the dismantling of Hamas or Islamic Jihad, despite the fact that Phase One of the Road Map, at its core, calls for the elimination of the Palestinian terror infrastructure. Abu Ala intends to tell Sharon soon that this is the best he can offer, and that he doesn't have the power to take on Hamas. That the choice is to take quiet without a dismantling of the terrorist infrastructure, or to expect the terror attacks to go on. The Palestinian assumption is that under these circumstances, Sharon and Defense Minister Mofaz will prefer calm. Then it will be time for the second act, to hold elections for the PA institutions in June 2004, which according to the Road Map should take place only after the terror infrastructure has been dismantled. What this means is the effective erasure of Phase One of the Road Map, skipping over the war on terror.

2003-11-19 00:00:00

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