Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Envoy: Palestinian Authority May Collapse

The AP is reporting that the U.N envoy for the Middle East is questioning the stability of the Palestinian Authority.
Roed-Larsen painted a grim picture of lawlessness in the Palestinian Authority, its failure to institute critical reforms, and he blamed Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (news - web sites).

He lamented that there was "no sign" of the bold leadership needed to tackle Palestinian reform and move toward peace.

"The Palestinian Authority, despite consistent promises by its leadership, has made no progress on its core obligation to take immediate action on the ground to end violence and combat terror, and to reform and reorganize the Palestinian Authority," he said.

Roed-Larsen said the only explanation is "the lack of political will" to advance toward reform, which is critically needed in the security services.

"Despite a well-intended prime minister, the paralysis of the Palestinian Authority has become abundantly clear," he said.

"Clashes and showdowns between branches of Palestinian security forces are now common in the Gaza Strip (news - web sites), where Palestinian Authority legal authority is receding fast in the face of the mounting power of arms, money and intimidation," Roed-Larsen said.

"The perceived Palestinian Authority abdication of responsibility" has led many residents of Rafah in southern Gaza to take matters into their own hands, including establishing a checkpoint to prevent Palestinian officials from entering the city or crossing into Egypt, he said.
The PA lasts as long as Arafat wants it to last. Arafat lasts as long as the Palestinians allow him to last (or the Israelis tolerate him to last).


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