Arafat Orders Top Officials not to Depart Palestine

Published July 2nd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Preparing for a unilateral statehood declaration, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat signed an order late last week restricting the departures of top PA officials as of next month, reported Ha'aretz, quoting a ranking Palestine Liberation Organization member. 

Starting August 3rd, top PA officials will not be allowed to leave PA territories unless Arafat himself personally approves special departure requests, said the paper.  

Several PA officials have thus been compelled to decline invitations to take part in conferences and other overseas events in August and afterward. 

Arafat's no-travel order attests to stepped-up preparations in the PA, as the September 13 target date nears.  

Anticipating that a unilateral statehood declaration in September will precipitate violent clashes and perhaps punitive Israeli measures, Arafat wants his top officials to stay close by, said the paper, quoting the PLO member. 

The 120 members of the PLO's Central Council will meet Sunday and Monday in the Gaza Strip, partly with the aim of setting a date for the statehood declaration, said the paper – 


© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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