Bush, Arafat exchange harsh words
Yasser Arafat accused the Bush administration of encouraging Israeli "crimes" against his people Tuesday as President bush said the Palestinian leader "betrayed" his people.
"The (Israeli) occupiers and the settlers are making the mistake of denying the existence of our people," Arafat said in a telephone address to Palestinian deputies gathered in Gaza City.
"Because of the arrogance of the force which is blindly supported and followed by certain powers, they are committing crimes against our people, our towns, our villages our (refugee) camps and our infrastructure," he said, according to AFP.
Hours later, speaking before the UN General Assembly, President Bush called for the Palestinians to follow Iraq in developing democratic institutions, saying their cause had been "betrayed" by Arafat.
Arab nations had to cut off funding for armed Palestinian groups that the United States has deemed "terrorist" organizations, he said, adding that Israel had to act to improve the living conditions of the Palestinians.
"The advance of democratic institutions in Iraq is setting an example that others, including the Palestinian people, would be wise to follow," the US leader stated.
"The Palestinian cause is betrayed by leaders who cling to power by feeding old hatreds and destroying the good work of others," Bush said. "The Palestinian people deserve their own state -- committed to reform, to fighting terror and to building peace," he said. (Albawaba.com)