Planning for Arafat’s Demise

Haaretz reports on the speculation surrounding Yasser Arafat’s health:
“With some Israeli officials privately suggesting that Yasser Arafat nust be dead and buried for any real progress toward peace to get underway, senior defense intelligence and operational officers are reportedly gearing up for the aftermath of the chairman’s funeral.”
Haaretz says that Israely planners are preparing for some rather grim scenarios in the event of Arafat’s death, and notes that “the overall result of any of the scenarios could be the same: A massive IDF operation to reconquer the whole of the territories and re-establish formal military rule.”
On the other hand, Arafat is nothing if not a survivor; he has “successfully if not easily defied three years of exhaustive, unprecedented efforts by the Sharon government to render him, in its oft-repeated mantra, irrelevant.” It is altogether possible that he will be with us for years to come.

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