A series of developments this week suggested that the stage may be getting set for renewed Palestinian-Israeli peace talks even as Palestinians prepared for new elections and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon worked to form a new coalition government.
In a sign that the post-Yasir Arafat era is presenting new opportunities throughout the Middle East, the cold peace that has existed between Israel and Egypt for the last 25 years may be starting to thaw both diplomatically and economically.
Israeli and Egyptian leaders used the occasion of a visit by Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit to Jerusalem Wednesday to speak about promoting relations between the two countries, according to Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom.
As two prominent Palestinian leaders announced plans to seek the presidency of the Palestinian Authority in elections Jan. 9 — one representing the younger generation and the other the “old guard” — Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon worked to keep his government in office while vowing to run for re-election should new elections be necessary next spring.
Even as Palestinian terrorist groups rebuffed calls for a cease-fire, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made conciliatory gestures to moderate Palestinian leaders this week ahead of a Jan. 9 election to choose a successor to Palestinian Authority President Yasir Arafat.
As Palestinian President Yasir Arafat struggled for his life in a Paris hospital this week, his wife, Suha, was lashing out at other Palestinian leaders and being branded by the press as the “first lady from hell” for being power and money hungry. She reportedly is seeking to keep as much as $6.5 billion her husband squirreled away.
by Joshua Mitnick and Stewart Ain |
Yasir Arafat, the Palestinian leader who brought his people to the brink of statehood only to throw it away on a senseless, four-year reign of terror that claimed the lives of thousands of Palestinians and Israelis, was near death Wednesday in a Paris hospital.