Dahlan: Bush speech strengthened Arafat popularity
Mohammed Dahlan, the man widely regarded as the US and Israel's preferred successor to Yasser Arafat, Tuesday accused U.S. President Bush of demanding a "coup d'état" against the Palestinian leader and declared that he would not stand against Arafat.
While conceding "reservations" about some of Arafat's decisions, Dahlan, former head of Palestinian security in Gaza Strip, said Bush's intervention had backfired and would keep Arafat in place, rather than encouraging reform and a new generation of leaders.
Writing in the British daily Guardian, Dahlan said maintained one result of Bush's intervention is that the latest polls show nine out of 10 Palestinians would vote for Arafat. "As long as the Israelis are against Arafat, I'm with him - whatever reservations I have about some of the decisions that have been made."
Dahlan - who remains a close security adviser to Arafat - ridiculed what he called the "lies and false allegations" that he was somehow favored by Israel, recalling an incident last year when his car was shot at by Israeli soldiers. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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