A New Challenge To Arafat's Rule

Last week Yasser Arafat made an effort to assuage concerns about his rule within the Palestinian Authority by announcing that he wants to hold overdue elections by year's end and signing a two-year-old bill guaranteeing the independence of the judiciary. But for a growing number of people within his organization, it's too little too late. Palestinian Authority members are haggling over reforms that include a plan to shift Arafat to a symbolic role as President. Senior Palestinian officials tell TIME that the shake-up would install Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary-General Mahmoud Abbas--an Arafat ally who has recently been critical of him in...

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