Going After Arafat's Monopoly on Money

U.S. accountants are helping the new Finance Minister gain control of Palestinian purse strings

Yasser Arafat doesn't deal delicately with threats to his power. When former Cabinet Minister Nabil Amr called in September for reform of the Palestinian Authority, Arafat had the chief of his special forces fire a few warning shots at Amr's home. Leaders of Arafat's Fatah faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization got the message. Scheduled to vote on reform a few days after the attack, they swallowed their criticisms instead.

It is no surprise, then, that past efforts to limit Arafat's prerogatives have failed. Nevertheless, one group of reformers thinks it has found a way to whittle down Arafat's domain. Its...

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