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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

March 15, 2003

Arafat Names Prime Minister, Will Continue Terror

DEBKA analizes appointment of a new PA prime minister and its ramifications
Nominating his most outspoken critic, Mahmoud Abbas, 68, the veteran PLO secretary general usually known as Abu Mazen, as first Palestinian prime minister certainly stuck in Yasser Arafat’s throat. Yet he went through with his presentation to the PLO Central Committee and the Central Council in Ramallah, on Saturday, March 8 and Sunday March 9.

To make sure the Palestinian leader did not back out at the last minute, Israel conveyed a hint that he may be closer to deportation than he thinks.

Monday, March 10, the Palestinian Legislative Council is due to determine what authority the new position will carry.

The showdown between Arafat and Abu Mazen over the division of authority between them is the focus of heated deliberations in these labyrinthine institutions. But a senior Palestinian source reported to DEBKAfile that at this stage, Abu Mazen has been neatly outmaneuvered. [more]