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Yasser Arafat has replaced his replacement to head security in the Gaza Strip after his elevation of a close family member touched off riots and demonstrations in Gaza:
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat on Monday reinstated a security chief whose replacement by the veteran leader's cousin touched off turmoil in the Gaza Strip, officials said.
Abdel-Razek al-Majaideh was named director of General Security for the West Bank and Gaza Strip, replacing Moussa Arafat, whose appointment to the post on Saturday triggered clashes between gunmen and his loyalists.
Moussa Arafat's apparent demotion seemed to be an attempt by the Palestinian president to defuse the most serious leadership crisis he has faced since returning from exile a decade ago.
The Palestinians have realized, belatedly, that the intifada has failed miserably to release them from the occupation or to create a self-government that can be trusted not to exploit them. Arafat's move towards family to strengthen his position backfired as Gazans saw this (rightfully so) as a further attempt to entrench his own position from his besieged bunker. The fact of Arafat's retreat in this, as in the kidnappings earlier, shows how weak he has become in his own proto-state. Either Arafat will have to call for new elections or he will have to crack down hard on all of the insurgent elements -- and it increasingly appears that he doesn't have the muscle for the latter.
In some small way, this was what happened when King Hussein sheltered Arafat and the PLO for a short period of time. The introduction and tolerance of radical terrorist elements in a nation eventually works to destabilize it. Hussein woke up in time to expel Arafat and his bunch of thugs before it was too late. Arafat didn't learn the lesson in time, and his Palestinian Authority will likely self-destruct as a result. The only reason not to snicker is what will likely supercede Arafat: an even worse terrorocracy financed by Syria and Iran. At least no one will be under the delusion that the new "representatives" of the Palestinians will be partners for peace.Sphere It View blog reactions
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