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Wednesday, April 07, 2004

PA suddenly favors "political pluralism"

Arafat prepared to embrace Hamas and Islamic Jihad in a "new leadership organization"
JPost: Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat is prepared to include Hamas and Islamic Jihad in a new leadership organization that would function alongside the Palestinian Authority, senior PA officials said Tuesday.

The PA daily Al-Ayyam said Arafat is willing to include Hamas and Islamic Jihad in a united national leadership that would be established soon. The paper did not specify what the new organization's function would be. [hmmm.... we can only guess.]

The United States, however, has warned the Palestinian administration against inviting the Hamas to join its ranks, reported IBA news Wednesday morning.

The Hamas is a terror organization, the message said, and must be boycotted.

A source in the Prime Minister's Office dismissed the move as a desperate bid by Arafat to stay in power.

"Arafat will do anything to stay in power, to get away from the isolation that he finds himself in," said the source. "Instead of issuing statements as to whether he will accept reforms, he is moving further to the extreme and wants to join forces with an organization that very clearly does not want any negotiations with Israel or compromises. It shows the man has learned nothing."

Al-Ayyam quoted Fatah Central Committee member Hani al-Hassan as saying the new leadership group could easily coexist alongside the existing leadership structure.

Palestinian women's organizations endorse The "New Intifada"

Palestinian women step on the US flag during an all women's protest
in suport of Iraq in Gaza City. Some 150 women, representatives of
women's organisations, took to the street to protest the US presence
in Iraq.(AFP/Mohammed Abed)

Palestinian demonstrators burn the US flag as others
shout anti-Israeli slogans during an all women's protest
in support of Iraq in Gaza City. Scores of Palestinian
women protested against what they called US 'war
crimes' in Iraq as the hardline Islamic Jihad movement
hailed the 'new intifada' against the US-led occupation.
(AFP/Mohammed Abed)