The Ultimate Survivor

Arafat walks away from a desert crash that kills three others

EVEN BEFORE HIS LATEST BRUSH WITH ETERNITY, Yasser Arafat was described by allies and enemies alike as the Middle East's ultimate survivor. His 23-year tenure as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization has been marked by repeated political defeats, accidents and assassination plots. So after his plane was reported missing over Libya last week, political leaders restrained themselves from dwelling on what life might be like without him.

Sure enough, he was rescued 12 hours later with only minor injuries. Three crewmen on his Russian-built turboprop plane were killed when it crash-landed during a sandstorm over the southern Libyan desert. He...

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