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The Great P.L.O. Juggling Act

As the murder of Issam Sartawi last week so dramatically illustrated, the Palestine Liberation Organization remains a babel of rival factions with disparate methods and goals. It has taken the energy and political savvy of Yasser Arafat to keep the uneasy coalition together, but the question now is whether he will be able to continue doing so.

The wonder of the P.L.O. is that it has managed to stay together so long. The umbrella organization is actually composed of at least eight groups. Foremost among the factions is Fatah, which holds an overwhelming majority of the seats on the Palestine National...

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