Yasser Arafat has failed to become the first Palestinian president. His brain is dead: his body is still supplied with oxygen by means of a life support apparatus; however, the man Israel hated the most and Palestine worshipped, has already stepped down from political arena.
He used to be on the verge of death several times already. This time everything is for real. In the course of his lifetime, Yasser Arafat has been assassinated more times than any other political leader of his caliber. While in Beirut, he was at the gunpoint of Israeli snipers; and only Sharon's last minute order saved Arafat's life. In 1992 he survived a plane crash in the Sahara desert. Everyone died, except for Abu Ammar – Arafat's military nickname.
In 1985 the Palestinian leader managed to survive the attack of Israeli air forces. Almost all of his brothers-in-arms were buried under the debris in Tunis, whereas Muhammad Abdel Rauf Arafat al-Kudwa al-Hussein (Arafat’s full name) survived.
So in the end, having escaped numerous assassinations and accidents, Arafat is dying from…malnutrition. The already exhausted organism had hard times coping with the strict diet of the Ramadan. Doctors claim that the immune system of the Palestinian leader has become so weak that it could no longer battle a simple cold. Although we have to understand that this is a mere medical casuistry. In reality, Yasser Arafat’s time has come. What does Mr. Arafat’s death mean?
“Whether or not Arafat has physically died or not, is not really of major importance,” writes the Israeli newspaper “Haaretz”. “One thing is clear: at the moment, Israel lacks a partner in Palestine with whom the former could conduct negotiations. There is a potential threat that chaos will set in on the entire Palestinian territory…”.
Such threat is in fact quite clear. Arafat’s funeral, which expects a large number (close to a million) of Arabs, could be the most powerful detonator of chaos. Of course, Tel Aviv has already considered such turn of events. Back in the spring military experts have been pondering the course of things in the event of Yasser Arafat’s death.
“Palestinian №1” will find peace in the same place where he had already found it once 10 years ago on his way from Tunis, in dusty Gaza Strip. This is also the place to host numerous foreign delegations.
Arafat used to be the absolute leader of Palestinians. However, he has not left a successor. This means that Palestine will soon witness a battle for the ultimate power. Despite the highly explosive atmosphere in the region, “it is necessary to prove that Arafat was not the only political figure to conduct peaceful negotiations with,” reports “Haaretz”. Today, Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has the most chances of becoming the next Palestinian leader. He has already headed Palestinian government once in 1993; however, he had to resign due to disputes with higher authorities of the “Fatkh” organization. Not so long ago, Arafat has suddenly once again welcomed Abu Mazena in his circle of most trustworthy people. Mazena was invited along with Abu Allah to have a late dinner at the Mukata residence. That was when the Palestinian leader has lost his conscious, unable to finish his meal…
After the plane crash in Sahara, having spent 13 hours under the plane debris, Arafat used to recall: “While waiting for help, I had two visions. The first one was that of my war brother’s who’d died. After that I had a vision of the Al-Aksa Mosque. I knew I would stay alive and would pray in Jerusalem.” Arafat assumed he would become the leader of the independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. Back then he survived. However, he failed to become the official president of Palestine. The vision turned out to be false.