A Devil's Bargain?


HOME FREE: One of the 429 prisoners released by the Israelis celebrates

In the courtyard of Yasser Arafat's battered Ramallah compound, a few hundred Palestinians newly released from Israel's jails gathered last Thursday lunchtime with their families. The Palestinian leader emerged smiling from a meeting with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to greet the crowds. Arafat puckered his lips and blew kisses, no doubt expecting the kind of drawn-out session of mass adulation he relishes. But the prisoners knew whom to thank for their freedom. "Long live Hizballah!" they chanted. "Long live Hassan Nasrallah!" The name of the Lebanese Muslim fundamentalist militia leader wiped the smile off Arafat's lips: he immediately turned around...

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