Tuesday 25 June 2024 
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Palestinian Authority three years after Arafat

Today marks the third anniversary of the demise of the former Palestinian Authority leader Yassir Arafat. Mohammed Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini was born in 1929 in Cairo to Palestinian parents.

In 1958 he went to Kuwait with some of his followers and founded the Fatah movement.In 1969, the Palestinian National Council voted Arafat to chair of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).

In 1989, Arafat was chosen head of the independent Palestinian government. He was then voted PA President in 1996 with a majority 75 percent in the Palestinian National Council.

The Palestinain leader was placed under siege in his headquarters in Ramallah which led to his ailment and the ensuing admittance to a military hospital in France where he passed away mysteriously in Nov 11, 1994.

Many experts blame a poisoning plot as being behind the Palestinian leader's death and implicate Zionist regime and West in the death of a leader whose presence ion the Palestinian political scene was a momentum for the Palestinian cause.

Arafat tried to restore the Palestinian rights through uniting Palestinian ranks, holding talks with the Zionist regime and pressing international players.

Even though some political circles and Palestinian movements term the demised leader a conservative figure, mainly for his role in the Oslo Agreement (with Isac Robin in 1992), Arafat remains a charismatic leader for the Palestinian population.

Three years on after the charisma leader's mystery death however, the Palestinian nation has not succumb to pressures and intimidation unlike the perception of the Zionist echelon who described Arafat departure as final hope for the Palestinian cause.

The Palestinian nation has drawn inspiration from the departed man and consolidated the strategy of resistance. The drive has already resulted in the freedom of Gaza and parts of the West Bank from under the boots of the Zionists.

Worse luck probably, Abu Mazen which succeeded Arafat in the Palestinian Authority dispelled alternatives of the Palestinian struggle and hold to negotiations, inadvertently riding against the wave of the Palestinian aspirations.

The PA leaders at present have bet the farm on a set of American promises and opted to compromise the cause of a nation. Their myopic pace has led to demonization of a popular domestic movement (Hamas) and the absolving of the true enemy (Israel).

The authority once billing itself as representing the Palestinian will has now turned into a proxy for the Zionist enemy to trample own compatriots driven by presumptions that their resistance drive is debilitative to the cause.

Abu Mazen's policy however has backfired as many Fatah leaders are moving to distance themselves from his moves and save their political face in the eye of the wronged Palestinian nation.

Arafat devoted his life and mind to restoration of the Palestinian rights and dignity. However, he had also some mistakes in his drive, including in his move to replace armed resistance with political alternatives against an enemy whose historical stubbornness has dashed any hopes of a political settlement.  


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