23 January, 2021

Yasser's Pieces

With Arafat gone, the contrary pulls in the movement begin to assert themselves Updates

Yasser's Pieces
Three days after PLO chairman Yasser Arafat's chaotic burial at his Ramallah office compound to which he was confined during the last years of his life, his successor Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), designated head of the PLO, was in Gaza Strip meeting mourners in a tent. A sudden eruption of gunfire, and two of Mazen's bodyguards fell dead. Although Abbas himself was unhurt, it was clear that the road ahead for Palestinians was going to be paved with more bullets. And the bullets would likely be fired by other Palestinians: Abbas' attackers were from the shadowy military wing of the Fatah movement, a group called the Al Aqsa Martyrs.

While he lived, Arafat was the glue that kept the various factions of the PLO together. His death has ripped apart this thin veneer of cohesiveness and exposed the bitterness of the many struggles within. This was immediately evident after Arafat's death when there was a quick four-way distribution of Arafat's main titles among four Palestinian leaders: Abbas was named the head of the PLO; Faruq Qaddumi (Abu Lutf) was named head of the Fatah, main...


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