Arafat Plots Mega-Terror, Pushes PM-designate Qureia out of His Way

Yasser Arafat has been basking in the attention showered on him from far and wide following the Israeli cabinet’s declaration Thursday, September 11, that he should be removed. Since then, he stands at the window of his battered Ramallah office, beaming and waving the victory sign. Saturday, September 13, he summoned foreign consuls and Israeli peace activists to pay their respects on the 10th anniversary of the failed Oslo Peace Accords (for which he won a Nobel Peace Prize). He told them that the UN Security Council members’ warning to Israel not to expel him was an international guarantee for his safety. This has encouraged him to go for a starring solo role on the Palestinian stage and go for a mega-strike that beats everything the Palestinians have thus far inflicted on Israel.
Saturday, September 13, Israel switched to peak alert in readiness for the worst terrorist outrage yet. Reporting this, debkafile‘s military and counter-terror sources stress that the state of readiness went well beyond the run-of-the mill alerts which Israel endures almost daily. All the national resources – the special operations units from all branches of the Israeli army, police and border guards – were recruited to repel suicide terrorists said to be heading into Israel for multi-casualty strikes on an unprecedented scale.
This time the source of the violence is not Hamas. The latest intelligence reaching Israeli quotes Arafat, who sits with his circle at a table in his Ramallah headquarters around the clock, as saying: “The struggle against the Israeli aggressors must not be influenced by what happens to me. Carry on with your sacred mission.”
These words were interpreted by his henchmen as an order to go all the way and carry out an attack so disastrous that it will force international intervention in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and show the world that he, Yasser Arafat, is the sole Palestinian interlocutor.
Ahmed Qureia, his candidate for Palestinian prime minister, will not be allowed to get in the way of Arafat’s domination of any dialogue with the five big powers of the UN Security Council. He has therefore been thrust into the wings. Arafat calculates that a truly horrific terrorist outrage will bring home to the world’s leaders that Yasser Arafat, and he alone, holds the key to Middle East stability. His removal would also remove the Palestinians as a party to any diplomatic process. It is him or no one.
If he succeeds in this maneuver, Arafat will have undone the Bush-Sharon peace strategy and brought his confrontation with Israel to a successful conclusion, while also achieving his longstanding ambition to internationalize the dispute, downgrade Washington’s role and tip the international scales in the Palestinians’ favor.
The notable feature of his grandstand performance before the TV cameras on Saturday was the absence of the familiar “close aides” at his side. debkafile presents here the first exclusive disclosure by inside Palestinian sources of the real state of mind among Arafat’s inner circle of advisers. They are portrayed as sunk in despair, especially Arafat’s own nominee as prime minister, his former right hand, Ahmed Qureia aka Abu Ala. He is in the deepest gloom after finding himself tossed back and forth by his sponsor less than a week after his appointment.
Wednesday, September 10, Arafat appointed Qureia to take over from Abu Mazen, who had resigned four days earlier, and form a broad-based national emergency cabinet. Arafat also proposed setting up a narrow-based National Security Council of no more than five-six members – himself, the prime minister-designate, the Washington-backed finance minister Salim Fayyad, Gen. Nasser Yousef and the latest Arafat favorite Jibril Rajoub.
The next day, Thursday, September 11, Arafat called together the top level of the Palestinian leadership and their advisers, excepting the just-purged Mahmoud Abbas and Mohamed Dahlan, to announce the creation of a National Security Council.
When he read out the first name, some of his longest-serving loyalists, Hanni al Hassan, Fatah ideologue Sahar Habas, General Nasser Yousef and Jibril Rajoub, walked out in a rage.
The first appointee was former Gaza police commander Razi Jabali, who was sacked for shady financial dealings.
Arafat then struck the remaining members of the group dumb with his plan for the Abu Ala government. He revealed that he had invited the most radical terrorist groups, all blacklisted in Washington, to send delegates for ministerial posts: Hamas-Gaza, the Democratic Front for Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, whose leader Ahmed Sadat is imprisoned in Jericho under US-British custodianship (for ordering the assassination of an Israeli minister).
Hearing for the first time who his ministers were to be, Abu Ala turned pale.
In the ensuing furor, Arafat informed his “inner circle” that it was too late for protests. Hamas had delegated Mussa Zoabut and the Democratic Front, Taysa Khaled, as candidates for ministers,
The Popular Front promised to forward its candidate by the weekend.
Arafat then turned to the speechless prime minister-designate, cursed him and told him to come back in three months. Abu Ala, seeing the formation of a Palestinian government receding to early 2004 – if then – turned away in confusion. He realized his premiership had been given even shorter shrift than that of his predecessor Abu Mazen, which had lasted 100 days. Later, according to debkafile‘s Palestinian sources, Arafat said Qureia could set up his government as long as all the negotiations took place in the room next to his own at government headquarters. Every move must be referred to him from approval. However, at the last minute, Arafat cancelled the Palestinian Legislative Council session called for Sunday, September 14, to confirm the Qureia premiership.
But Arafat was not yet done. Twenty-four hours after describing the National Security Council to Abu Ala as a small body, he announced with a broad smile: “America wants all our security and intelligence bodies placed under one roof, our interior ministry. Fine. I have just appointed a 21-member National Security Council that meets this demand.”
(The Palestinian Authority commands 13 separate security bodies of which eight are under the direct control of Yasser Arafat)
According to the list read out by Arafat, thirteen members turn out to be the heads of terrorist groups under his orders, including the al Aqsa Martyrs (Suicides) Brigades commander Col. Tawfiq Tirawi, Razi Jebali, and Mussa Arafat his kinsman, whose official title is military intelligence chief. All three are engaged in orchestrating terror attacks on a daily basis. Arafat padded the council with four more trusties for a strong majority of 17 on the 21-member council.
He then suddenly telephoned to Dahlan and offered to keep him on in the job he had just lost as internal security minister. Dahlan promised to think about it. Rajoub who had meanwhile returned to the meeting grumbled that if Dahlan was back in favor, he had better come to terms with him. “Around here there’s no knowing what will happen in an hour’s time.”
At that point, news of the Israeli cabinet decision on Arafat’s removal was announced.
Abu Ala picked up on the opportunity and told his advisers to issue a release explaining that the Israeli decision had made it impossible for him to form a government…

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