Tunis is quiet after midnight, when the phone rings. This is a Yasser Arafat tradition, summoning visitors at all hours to make their way through a gauntlet of steel barricades to a villa in a quiet residential corner of the city. The stucco house looks like any other, except that it is surrounded by young men in jeans, bearing Kalashnikovs, smoking cigarettes. Their job is to keep the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization alive -- and they take it seriously. Male guests are patted down, their pockets emptied, wallets searched. Women are scanned with ultrasensitive metal detectors, their purses %...

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