The power struggle between Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) can be regarded as another stage in the democratization of Palestinian political life. There was no violence between the two competing for positions of power.
The power struggle at the top of the Palestinian leadership weakened not only the Palestinian Authority's Yasser Arafat, but also Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), who is considered Number 2 in the PA and the almost certain successor to Arafat.
An East Jerusalem journalist, asked last night who won, replied: "Neither Arafat nor Abu Mazen. The Americans won."
When asked Wednesday night who had been victorious in the power struggle between PA Chairman Arafat and Prime Minister-designate Abu Mazen over the new Palestinian cabinet, an East Jerusalem journalist replied, 'Neither Arafat nor Abu Mazen. The Americans won.'
Senior Palestinian officials are hoping for a compromise today in the most severe leadership crisis in the Palestinian national movement since the 1983 rebellion against Yasser Arafat's authority after the PLO was evicted from Beirut.
The war of nerves between Yasser Arafat and Abu Mazen reached new levels of tension last night with both sides refusing to change their position regarding the appointment of their people to the new government.
The Palestinians are, of course, waiting for Abu Mazen, but their expectations are much lower, it seems, than those of American, European, and Israeli spokesmen.
The American administration is waiting for Abu Mazen's government to receive a vote of confidence from the Palestinian Legislative Council. Once that hurdle is passed, Washington will present to the Palestinians and Israelis the Middle East peace plan known as the road map.
In the last few days European and American officials have exerted massive pressure on Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat to agree to Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen)'s demand to appoint Mohammed Dahlan as the minister in charge of security.
The world is asking what kind of new Middle East will emerge from the anger and humiliation created by the earthquake in Iraq. Meanwhile, only Islamic zealots have a clear answer - "energetic resistance to the foreign enslaver," says Hamas.