For sake of democracy include diaspora in Palestinian vote
By Helena Cobban
Christian Science Monitor
22 November 2004

BEIRUT, LEBANON-- Elections are on the agenda for the Palestinians:
Their interim post-Arafat leadership says it plans to hold them Jan. 9. That's good news, but as of now there are no plans to include in this important vote the millions of Palestinians living in exile outside their homeland. Shouldn't that be changed?

It's true, the presidential election plan already faces many obstacles. One is the draconian system of movement controls that Israel has maintained on the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza since 2002, purportedly as a security measure to prevent further Palestinian suicide bombings. Any free and fair election requires that such controls be lifted. Otherwise, how can candidates and supporters circulate to discuss their platforms and ideas?

But excluding from the vote those Palestinians living outside the homeland is a deeper and potentially more serious problem. The current plan is to hold the election under rules defined in the Oslo peace process in 1993. Back then, excluding diaspora Palestinians from the rolls might have been forgivable, because the election envisaged there (which was duly held in 1996) was for head of the Palestinian National Authority - a body that everyone agreed was only temporary.

But the Oslo process has been defunct for a long time. Even President Bush has said that his goal now is not just an "interim" body, but the creation of a full-fledged Palestinian state. That is an admirable goal - and one that is long overdue. (Under the Oslo Accords, implementation of the "final status" between Israel and Palestine was due to start in 1999. We are already five years late!) But negotiations for this outcome - which should certainly not be temporary - need to enroll the energies of Palestinians living outside the homeland, as well as those within it. The best way to achieve that would be to include them in the vote to the Palestinian body that conducts this fateful negotiation.

In nearly all other transition-related elections in the world in recent years - in South Africa, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq - provision has been made to include in the vote those made refugees by the preceding years of strife and conflict. Palestine's
refugees, inside and outside the occupied territories, deserve no different. Enfranchisement would give the refugees a solid sense of political inclusion, and involve them constructively in the search for a workable solution. Excluding them - as happened throughout the Oslo process - would probably once again be a recipe for failure.

But is there still time to include diaspora Palestinians in the Jan. 9 election? Yes, there is one easy way that a sizable portion of them - including those who are now the most vulnerable and needy - could participate. The UN relief agency - UNRWA - maintains
up-to-date lists of all the "registered Palestinian refugees" in Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon, and has networks of schools and clinics in those three countries.

UNRWA's name lists, identity cards, and physical facilities could be used to help run the election. Arranging that need not take more than four or five weeks. Indeed, persuading Israel to allow the freedoms needed for a fair election inside the occupied territories (including East Jerusalem) might take longer than making the arrangements for these diaspora Palestinians to vote.

How many people would this add to the rolls? UNRWA'S latest figures count 2.6 million "registered refugees" (of all ages) in the three countries where it offers services. Around 3.3 million Palestinians live in Gaza and the West Bank. It's noteworthy that the 370,000 refugees living in Lebanon and the 417,000 in Syria are completely stateless, which leaves them painfully vulnerable and means they've never had a chance to vote. Those in Jordan have been given citizenship and voting rights there, and at some point should be given the choice between keeping those rights in Jordan or becoming
citizens of an eventual independent Palestine.

It's noteworthy, too, that there are possibly 2 million to 4 million Palestinians living in exile who are not on UNRWA's tightly limited rolls. Given the dispersal of these people around the globe, there is no quick and easy way to include them in the vote. But at the
least, including the people registered with UNRWA means that refugee interests and energies would be significantly represented in the new leadership.

The upcoming Palestinian elections face other challenges, too. The two main Islamic groups in Palestinian society - Hamas and Islamic Jihad - have said they won't participate if the vote is conducted on the basis of the Oslo process, which they always opposed. Will they boycott? If they do, will the new leadership have the popular
mandate that it needs?

The Palestinians are a talented people. But, sadly, their internal structures and leadership are in significant disarray. Partly, that's a legacy of Yasser Arafat's "big man" style of governance.
Partly, it's a result of three years of relentless Israeli attacks on all Palestinian institutions, including security services. Yet both peoples - Palestinians and Israelis - need and yearn for peace.
Radical rethinking is necessary. Including, rather than excluding, the Palestinian exiles from the process makes sense. It would be good for democracy and good for peace.

* Helena Cobban is coauthor of 'When the Rain Returns: Toward Justice and Reconciliation in Palestine and Israel,' published by the American Friends Service Committee.

Both sides want Khader silenced
Populist politician says PA set him up for Israeli charges Maverick's arrest and trial getting scant attention


BALATA REFUGEE CAMP, West Bank—The eyes of the world were elsewhere one year ago when a company of 50 Israeli soldiers came calling for firebrand Palestinian politician Hussam Khader.

The big headlines, naturally, spoke of Baghdad, where the witching hour of bombardment was fast approaching. And Tel Aviv, where an 11th-hour scramble for duct tape, plastic sheeting and gas masks bespoke inflated Israeli fears of an arsenal we now know Saddam Hussein did not possess.

Even among Palestinians, the news that day came from the Gaza Strip, where American college student Rachel Corrie had just become the first foreign activist to die in 29 months of intifada, falling beneath an Israeli armoured bulldozer while trying to block troops from demolishing a refugee family's home. Little wonder then that Khader's arrest the night of March 16, 2003, made barely a journalistic blip. Just another Palestinian leader pulled from his bed; another detainee to join more than 6,000 Palestinian prisoners already doing time in jails throughout Israel.  cont


While Barghouti makes headlines, Husam Khader is hardly mentioned

By Danny Rubinstein

Wed., March 24, 2004 Nisan 2, 5764

Husam Khader being brought to military court Tuesday. He denies any connection to terror attacks, and his lawyer argues there is only one witness against him.

(Itzik Ben-Malki)


Israeli jails hold two members of the Palestinian Legislative Council: Marwan Barghouti from Ramallah and Husam Khader from Nablus. The PLC is the parliament of the Palestinian Authority and its members were elected in general elections that took place in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza in early 1996. In other words, they are elected parliamentarians. Barghouti was arrested during Operation Defensive Shield two years ago and Khader in a raid on his house in Nablus a year ago. Both are on trial in Israel on security charges.

But the public attitude toward the two is very different, and evident, among other ways, in the media coverage oftheirsituation, whether in the Israeli, Palestinian or international press. While Barghouti's trial was given broad coverage, and there are popular committees that support him in the PA, Khader's name has hardly been mentioned.

Barghouti may be considered a key activist in the Fatah movement and there are even those who say he will yet inherit Yasser Arafat's seat as leader of the PA, but Khader is also an activist with a key role in Palestinian political life. Apparently, the difference in the media coverage of them is at least partly the result of Khader's controversial activities in Nablus.

Last Monday, at the military installation at the Salam checkpoint on the road from the Megiddo Junction to Jenin, the military tribunal held a session in Khader's trial. There were no reporters, except for one from Al Jzeera and one from Haaretz, nor any public personalities, except for Balad MK Jamal Zahalka, who showed up toward the end of the hearing. Getting into the court means getting into the military base, which requires coordination with the military authorities and their approval. Khader's family had such approval and came from Nablus. His mother, his three little children - dressed in their best clothes - his sister, and some uncles and aunts were all there.

Most of the others in the courtroom were soldiers, police, Border Police, and wardens from the Prisons Service, and most were there because of their jobs, like the guards who bring the defendants in and out of the courtroom. But there was the impression that quite a few soldiers were attending because they were bored, and had dropped in just for the show, to see what happens in a military court.

The result, in any case, was there was a lot of coming and going of soldiers and police. They opened and closed the two squeaking doors of the courtroom every minute or two. The constant noise made it difficult to hear the court president, meaning the judge who ran the trial, or to hear what was being said by the prosecutor, defense attorney, the witnesses and the translators. In past years, security officials entering and leaving a courtroom were required to stand at attention and salute the judges, but that custom has apparently been canceled. The ruckus made the whole proceeding very undignified. A young female soldier, helped by a couple of male soldiers, was posted to make sure the relatives of the accused were not able to make any contact with him, neither conversation or too much waving. She demanded them all, all the time, to remain absolutely quiet. One of Khader's uncles lost his temper during the recess and shouted at the soldiers: "What are we? Animals? Why don't you let him greet his little children?"

Talk of a frame-up

The essence of the charges against Khader is that as a key Fatah activist he established the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in Nablus, appointed their commanders and provided them money, some of which went toward purchasing weapons that members of the group used to attack Israelis. Khader admits to some of the charges, but denies any connection to terror attacks.

Last Monday's hearing included testimony from the chief prosecution witness, Amir Suwellma, an Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade activist from Nablus. Khader's attorney, Riad al-Anis, of Umm al-Fahm, says that all the charges against his client are based on the testimony of this lone witness. Suwellma was brought into court shackled at his ankles. He is also on trial. In response to questions from Khader's attorney, he told an interesting story about a meeting, that took place in Nablus toward the end of 2002. Attending, he said, were front rank Palestinian leaders: Mayor Ghassan Shaka, who meanwhile has resigned, but remains a member of the PLO Executive Committee; Hani el Hassan, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, who was interior minister (and responsible for security) in a Yasser Arafat cabinet; Tewfik Tiraqi, head of General Security in the West Bank and one of Arafat's closest confidantes; and several other key activists from public institutions in Nablus. The witness said that everyone in the meeting spoke against Khader and said ways had to be found to stop him.

The defense attorney asked if it was true that he told his interrogators that Tirawi proposed instructing a young man who was on his way to conduct a suicide bombing, to say that Husam Khader sent him. In other words, to frame Khader. "Not that way, but there was talk about putting Khader's phone number in the bomber's pocket," said the witness.

That bit of testimony revealed the top of the iceberg of the bitter rivalries between various groups in Nablus, rivalries that have been going on for years. Khader, who comes from a family of refugees from Ras al Ayin (Rosh Haayin) and Jaffa, has long been considered leader of the Balata refugee camp, the largest camp in the West Bank, as well as Iskar and Ein Beit Alma, the refugee camps that surround Nablus. For years he has led campaigns against the local aristocracy, the effendi in Nablus, which many of the refugees regard as corrupt and degenerate, concerned only with their own welfare and saboteurs of the national struggle. Khader was never satisfied with attacks on the Nablus leadership, and at almost every opportunity criticized the national leadership of his own movement, Fatah, and even of its leader, Arafat.

Of all the opposition spokesmen in the Palestinian Authority, Khader can definitely be called the most daring in his challenges to the leadership. His rhetoric in the past led to violent clashes in the city of Nablus and the Balata camp. There were leaflet wars with vicious language and, on at least one occasion, shots were fired at his home. He was elected to the PLC by the votes of the residents of the camps and on the basis of his firm position against any concession on the right of return.

From prison, he has sent messages expressing reservations about the Geneva Accord (produced by Yossi Beilin and Yasser Abed Rabbo), since it can be understood to mean that the refugees should give up their demand to return to their homes.

There was more evidence of the local struggles in Nablus a few weeks ago, when unknown gunmen fired at Mayor Ghassan Shaka. The gunmen missed their target but killed his brother. That was followed by the mayor's resignation. He said that one of the reasons for resigning was that there was no serious investigation into the shooting.

Attorney Al-Anius, therefore, is trying to use the rivalries of Nablus in his defense of Khader, to prove that there was a conspiracy against his client, a conspiracy peopled by his rivals in the Palestinian leadership.

He also tried to prove that the main witness, Suwellma, changed his version of events in exchange for better treatment by the Shin Bet interrogators, who told him explicitly, he said, "Don't tell us about others. We only want Khader."

The Palestinian press reports, though relatively little, on the physical and emotional nightmare that Khader has been through during lengthy interrogations, and it reports on the difficult conditions in which he is being held.

He is now held in Be'er Sheva prison, and his trial will certainly take several more months. If he is released, it is very likely he will once again take up a leading opposition role in Palestinian politics.

© Copyright  2004 Haaretz.

The political prisoners from Abnaa ElBallad ("Sons of the Land") have
declared a hunger strike to protest against the detention conditions of the
Jalame prison

Yesterday, March 28, 2004, the secretary general of Abnaa elBalad movement,  the comrade Muhammad Kana'ane, went on a hunger strike to protest against his detention conditions in the Shabak compound in Jalame ("Kishon prison"). Today, March 29, 2004, he was joined by his brother and fellow political prisoner Hussam Kana'ane, a member of the Abnaa elBalad central committee. more

Israel and the Palestinian Authority differ over many things, but they have a common dislike of Hussam Khader, an outspoken Palestinian legislator.

By Ben Lynfield

Jerusalem -- Mr. Khader, a critic of corruption in the Palestinian Authority and advocate of refugee rights, has been indicted by Israel on charges of funding attacks against Israeli targets. The normally voluble Palestinian Authority is reacting with silence..Mr. Khader, 40, is now the second Palestinian lawmaker to face Israeli justice, following charismatic Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi, whose case is being closely watched by the public and the authority. Unlike Mr. Barghouthi, currently on trial in Tel Aviv District Court, Mr. Khader will be on trial in an Israeli military the West Bank.. Those courts have a conviction rate of 97 percent, army officials admitted last month..

"There is no chance Hossam will have a fair trial," says his lawyer, Riyadah al-Anis. And the PA, he says, has been offering no support. "I have not heard anyone from the PA calling for his release. The only reason I can think of is that they did not like his criticisms."

Mr. Khader routinely uses the term "mafia" to describe ministers around Yasser Arafat and he depicts them as threatening the very future of the Palestinian people.

According to the charge sheet, excerpts of which were published yesterday , Mr. Khader funneled 30,000 dollars to the Fatah armed wing to fund attacks and served as an intermediary between the armed wing and Iranian Revolutionary guards stationed in Lebanon It also accuses Mr. Khader of having foreknowledge of a planned attack on soldiers near Nablus, Mr. Khader's constitutency.. Mr. Khader denies the charges.

In an interview days before his arrest in March, Mr. Khader praised the intention of Mahmoud Abbas, who later became Palestinian prime minister, to forge a ceasefire and said he would work to persuade militants to agree to it.

But he is far better known for his attacks on the PA. Last year, he was quoted by saying: "I don't think Arafat cares about anything other than being in power. When Arafat disappears they will write about him as they wrote about Mao-they will write about his criminality and his catastrophes."

A PA minister yesterday denied that Mr. Khader was paying the price of such pronouncements.. " In fact, there have been many meetings recently in which his name was mentioned among others. He has some friends in Fatah who are trying to help. But in terms of popularity, he is simply not in the same league as Barghouthi."

Haaretz newspaper reported that the army's West Bank commander, Moshe Kaplinsky, recommended Mr. Khader be released as a good will gesture to encourage the peace process launched two weeks ago at a summit in Aqaba, Jordan. But, according to the report, the Shin Bet opposed this.

Mr. Khader does not look well after being under intensive interrogation and being deprived of sleep, Mr. Anis said. Mr. Khader was arrested at his home in Balata Refugee Camp on March 17. His relatives say soldiers pushed him against a wall, saying repeatedly that he is a terrorist and confiscated his computer and personal papers. He is being held in Ramle prison, east of Tel Aviv.



1.         “Hussam Khader, a Nablus member of the Palestinian legislative council, says make-do education first surfaced during the first Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation, from 1987 to 1993. But it has become more widespread now, he says, because the curfews - particularly in Nablus - have been so strict.”


            By: Prusher, Ilene R., Christian Science Monitor, 9/19/2002, Vol. 94, Issue 208

2.         "No one will beat him. Yasir Arafat, he's still the symbol.'' Hussam Khader, Palestinian legislator, member of the Fatah movement and vocal Arafat critic, in response to President Bush's call for new Palestinian leadership”


            PERSPECTIVES ,  Newsweek, 00289604, 7/8/2002, Vol. 140, Issue 2

3.         “Even so, Hussam Khader, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and an influential leader of Fatah in the Balata refugee camp in Nablus, says that Arafat blew his credibility long ago. "I don't think that Arafat cares about anything other than being in power," he says. "When Arafat disappears, they will write about him as they wrote about Mao--they will write about his criminality and his catastrophes."

But can anybody emerge to challenge the "symbol of the nation"? Virtually all the older members of the Palestinian Authority have been tarnished by allegations of corruption. The powerful directors of Arafat's Preventive Security service, Jibril Rajoub and Mohammad Dahlan, are regarded as favorites of Washington and, as such, have lost popularity. Many charismatic younger figures are languishing in Israeli prisons. The most notable is Marwan Barghouti, 42, the leader of Arafat's Fatah movement in the West Bank, accused of masterminding the killings of settlers and soldiers. The few Young Turks who haven't been incarcerated say that challenging Arafat is futile. "Arafat will win this election in spite of the fact that everybody blames him for destroying Palestinian life and keeping thieves in his government," says Khader, 39, who has put his own political aspirations on hold until Arafat is gone. "We are like the Bedouins. We follow our sheiks. It is not easy to leave your traditional culture. We have to wait until God takes this sheik to him." Bush and many others who've lost faith in Arafat may be in for a long wait.”

By: Hammer, Joshua, Zedan, Samir, Newsweek, 7/8/2002, Vol. 140, Issue 2

4.       “Salim knew he had become a target. At the mourning for Darwazeh, he sat with Hussam Khader, a firebrand young leader from Nablus. "May God protect you," Khader told the sheik. Very softly, Salim replied, "No one can change God's will." Still, he was trying. Salim garaged his conspicuous black 1993 Peugeot 205 and started taking taxis. But the Israelis had him in their sights. On the night of Monday, July 30, Israel's top generals and the chief of the Shin Bet security service met in Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer's office. The agenda: responding to a wave of attempted terror attacks around Jerusalem. Ben-Eliezer was told that surveillance tapes showed the Hamas network in Nablus was planning "the attack of attacks." Israeli intelligence already blamed the group for recent bombings, including the suicide bomb at a Tel Aviv nightclub in June that left 23 dead. Ben-Eliezer gave the green light for a strike.”


By: Rees, Matt, Hamad, Jamil, Klein, Aharon, Time, 8/13/2001, Vol. 158, Issue 6

5.         “It was Balata's answer to the lawmen's incursion. Forty stolen cars rolled slowly out of the camp, each loaded with car thieves firing rifles in the air. Behind them walked hundreds of Balata residents. The criminals drowned the police station and the municipality in the deafening racket of their Kalashnikovs. The people of Nablus fled in fear, and their rulers--the mayor appointed by Arafat, the police chief, the Governor--all got the message: Back off. "Every day there's a fight between someone from Balata and a Nablus guy," says Hussam Khader, 39, the reform-minded leader of Yasser Arafat's Fatah Party in Balata. "It's something we've never known before."

In Balata's narrow streets, the chaotic traffic writhes slowly and fractiously between the cinder-block auto shops in the simmering heat of spring on the valley floor. More than 800 feet above the dusty camp, on the lush peak of Mount Gerizim, a monumental structure is rising, half Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, half Taj Mahal. It is the new home of a leading member of the Masri family, the most powerful and wealthy clan in Nablus. It is a reminder, too, of the differences between the unruly refugee camp and the Palestinian metropolis in the West Bank, and a symbol of the extreme tensions that exist within Palestinian society, riven these days between rich and poor, Christian and Muslim and dozens of other fractures. Even as Arafat struggled last week to deliver on his promise of a cease-fire, controlling anti-Israeli violence promises to be difficult because it also means trying to manage the divisions among Palestinians. It means trying to exert control in a land where impatience, fury and frustration conspire to divide instead of unify.

Down in the fifth of a square mile that is Balata, it is not venerated old families like the Masris who rule. The graffiti on the walls mark the territories of clan-based gangs like the Dan-Dan, or personal militias who owe their allegiance to local leaders with nicknames like Baz-Baz. Among the 30,000 residents of the camp, 65% of workers are unemployed, up from 25% before the Aqsa intifadeh kicked off eight months ago. It is estimated that there are 5,000 guns in the camp.  


Between Balata and Nablus, the road bumps down a mile-long stretch of chop shops where cars stolen from Israel are gutted for parts. Arafat's police don't dare touch these garages. "It's a free-trade zone," jokes Khader. Outside the door of his second-floor office, Nablus mayor Ghassan Shaka'a keeps two guards armed with Kalashnikovs. Smartly dressed in a checkered sports jacket, Shaka'a is a member of the executive committee of the P.L.O., a confidant of Arafat's. "Balata is not against me," he says, laughing dismissively. Out on the street, however, he rarely shows his face for fear of assassination. The mayor smiles broadly when asked about the accusations of corruption made by Balata's people against his Palestinian Authority. It's "certainly a reason for discontent, but a minor one," he says. "It's a battle of good people against bad people." So, who's good and who's bad? The mayor laughs and answers a question he hasn't been asked. "The Palestinians are good, and the Israelis are bad."                            


If there is a positive side to the abuses, it is that they are emboldening the reformers against Arafat's men. Says Khader, the West Bank politico: "They're afraid of democracy. We've succeeded in developing the concept of democracy on the street." So far, at least, Arafat has been able to keep the popular will jammed into place by the pressures of the intifadeh and by his unchallenged leadership. But as they look around, Palestinians see a society that is more fractured than ever before and further away from the goal of a free state than at any other time since the Oslo peace process began. Arafat cannot ignore those troubling facts. Now--particularly if his fresh cease-fire holds--he must face the difficult problem of leading his people beyond them.”

By: Rees, Matt, Hamad, Jamil, Klein, Aharon, Time, 06/18/2001, Vol. 157, Issue 24 

6.       “Friday evening's missile strike against Palestinian Authority headquarters in Nablus was no mistake. The Israeli Air Force reportedly was targeting Mahmoud Abu Hanud, a leading Hamas guerrilla who was being detained in a cell near the police chief's office. Israel gave warning of the attack, but its fighter jets taking off from Tel Nof can reach any target in the West Bank and Gaza in 90 seconds--and some inside didn't have time to escape. The 12 who died were ordinary cops. Abu Hanud was lightly injured in the attack--and later escaped from a hospital in Nablus. "For us it's an announcement of war against the Palestinian people," says Hussam Khader, a local leader of the PLO's Fatah wing.”

     By: Hammer, Joshua, Ephron, Dan, Gutman, Roy, Newsweek, 05/28/2001, Vol. 137, Issue 22


7.   "The vast majority of Palestinians don't see Sharon or Barak. They see an army, with Sharon and Barak as its generals," says Barghouthi. Some Palestinians see more. They believe a Sharon victory will be a boon for their cause. "He will expose the tree face of Israel," says Hussam Khader, an activist in Yasir Arafat's Fatah movement in Nablus, "and force the world, including the US, to address its real responsibilities to the peace process."

       By: Usher, Graham, Nation, 00278378, 02/19/2001, Vol. 272, Issue 7 

8.       “There is a deep consensus, among refugees in the occupied territories and in the diaspora, that the right of return is an individual right, enshrined in international law, which no national leadership can sign away. "If Yasser Arafat or any other Palestinian leader were to relinquish the right of return, I would lead the revolt against him," said Hussam Khader, a Fatah leader who lives in Balata refugee camp near Nablus in the West Bank.”                        


THE PALESTINIAN RIGHT OF RETURN, Economist, 00130613, 01/06/2001, Vol. 358, Issue 8203 

9.       “Hussam Khader, an organizer of Fatah militias around the West Bank city of Nablus, goes further. He openly accused 50 members of the Palestinian Authority of taking their money and their families out of the country during the uprising. "Arafat is the umbrella for these corrupt people, but he still leads the national party," says Khader. "If Arafat didn't exist, this intifada would have been against the Palestinian Authority. And if this intifada fails to reorganize the Palestinian house, then I would consider this intifada failed."

“Ever the survivor, Arafat could conceivably be strengthened by the recent mayhem. Grim as the violence has been, over the long run it could serve to prepare an exhausted public on both sides for practical concessions on territory, settlements, foreign observers, even a division of Jerusalem. Khader, in Nablus, describes the new uprising as "a sort of surgery performed to fix the malfunctions of the peace process." But there is also the risk that between the bluster of Israeli elections and the brutal brinkmanship of Arafat and his proteges, the chances of peace will be dimmed for years to come”

By: Dickey, Christopher, Abusway, Khader, Ephron, Dan, Newsweek,12/11/2000, Vol. 136, Issue 24

     10.   ”The young guard is composed of newly emerging local leaders as well as the leaders of the first intifada. Most are no older than 40. A few serve in the PA cabinet and the PLC, and as heads or senior members of different security services. But as a whole, the group lacks cohesion, leadership, and formal authority. Indeed, certain younger nationalists are known as gangsters or warlords among some of their fellow Palestinians; others, such as Sami Abu Samhadaneh in Rafah and Aatif Ebiat in Bethlehem, have been targeted for assassination by the Israeli army, and the latter was killed this past October. But certain prominent members of the young guard, such as Marwan Barghouti in Ramallah and Husam Khader in Nablus, are more respectable. Although the young guard has little voice in the main PLO institutions, it has more power in Fatah bodies such as the High Committee and the Revolutionary Council, as well as in Fatah's semi-militia, the Tanzim, and armed wing, al Aqsa Brigades.

                                                      Foreign Affairs, Jan/Feb2002, Vol. 81 Issue 1  


…leading young Fatah leaders, notably Marwan Barghouti and Hussam Khader, were also elected to the Legislative Council, and began playing an essential role in local politics. As time went by, the young leaders began to question Arafat’s leadership and criticize the PA’s appointees for their lavish lifestyles, failures and corruptions…..Although the younger leaders are also subjected to criticism, they still enjoyed more respect and support from the masses. In the meantime, the young nationalist and Islamist factions had established an unofficial alliance in an attempt to deliver to the Palestinians what the PLO/PA had failed to accomplish. Many locals are even insisting that any new peace talks should be directed towards local leaders, instead of negotiating with Arafat and the PA, although most local leaders have been either killed or jailed.”

 History in Dispute, Vol. 14: The Middle East Since 1945, First Series, 2003.

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