Interview: with Yasser Arafat: Knowing the Enemy

Yasser Arafat Roams The Middle East, a homeless man, saying he is willing to coexist with Israel but never quite able to control the forces that could secure his place in history

His gyrations through the region have accelerated as he prepares the ground for the meeting later this month of the informal Palestinian parliament that is expected to decide whether to proclaim an independent state, based on territory currently occupied by Israel -- the West Bank and Gaza -- and run by a provisional government. At 59, Arafat is a man both admired as a revolutionary leader and despised as a terrorist, a leader who can be calmly reasonable or passionately shrill in the pursuit of his cause. Last week Arafat borrowed an Iraqi jet for a brief trip to Turkey, complete...

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