Israeli "defense" minister says Arafat may be expelled soon
Israel's "Defense" Minister Shaul Mofaz has stated that Arafat may be expelled from Palestine shortly:
"My opinion in the past was that we should deport Arafat," he said, responding to questions from MKs Benjamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor) and Ehud Yatom (Likud). "At this moment, it would not be right to do so, but it is very possible that in the very near future, there will be no choice but to do so."

Mofaz said Arafat is making every effort to foil the Israeli-Palestinian rapprochement and the reforms that Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is trying to effect. Arafat still controls some of the PA security services, he noted.

Terrorist organizations are also trying to disrupt the process and are, therefore, instigating attacks, he said. This creates difficult problems but there is now a chance for peace that must be fully explored, he said. However, he added, the process is likely to take years and be studded with many ups and downs.
[emphasis added]
Right..."a chance for peace that must be explored" - through assassination and killings of innocent bystanders? This sounds absurd, coming from someone who certainly played a part in authorizing the failed assassination attempt on Rantissi earlier in the day.

No matter what anyone does, there will always be the evil Arafat lurking in the background, wrecking everything, the single source of all troubles in the Middle East. With that much power, surely expulsion won't be enough to prevent him from continuing to carry out his diabolical schemes.

Meanwhile, Akiva Eldar, relying on an unnamed source present at the Aqaba summit meetings, reports an interesting exchange involving Mofaz, Dahlan, and Bush:
According to the source, Dahlan gave an excellent five-minute synopsis of the situation, and concluded by saying to Bush: "There are some things we can do and some things we cannot. We will do our best. But we will need help."

Mofaz burst in at the end of Dahlan's presentation and said: "Well, they won't be getting any help from us; they have their own security service."

You could see that Bush was irritated, says the participant, and he turned on Mofaz angrily: "Their own security service? But you have destroyed their security service."

Mofaz shook his head and said: "I do not think that we can help them, Mr. President," - to which Bush said: "Oh, but I think that you can. And I think that you will."
Nothing like that bilateral security cooperation. "No choice" but to expel Arafat, indeed.

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