U.S./ISRAEL SWORD OVER ARAFAT: Diplomatic activity at urgent levels to achieve peace
DEBKAfile, 6 December 2001

"Eight years after US President Clinton engineered the Oslo Peace Framework Accord installing the exiled Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with self-determination for his people, George W. Bush has taken the lead in the effort to end his reign.

The Palestinian may try last-resort maneuvers, but he cannot escape the joint American-Israel sword poised over his head. Neither can he hope for any world leader to reach out and rescue him. Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres and his dwindling pro-Oslo adherents may try, but they will do so in isolation.

In the diplomatic flurry surrounding this terminal process, Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon sent a secret envoy to Cairo Wednesday night with a personal message to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The response was immediate: Egyptian foreign minister Ali Maher was dispatched to Jerusalem Thursday for urgent talks with the Israeli prime minister. Maher, after meeting foreign minister Shimon Peres, is to call on Arafat in Ramallah and goes on to Amman for talks with King Abdullah.

DEBKAfile’s political sources reveal that Sharon’s messenger was Mossad head Ephraim Halevy. Our sources add: Both the Egyptian and Jordanian rulers, appreciating that Arafat’s days as an effective leader are numbered, have moved forward to deliberations with Israel on the post-Arafat order.

President Bush’s strong and resolute stance against Arafat goes beyond his pledge of support for Sharon’s fight to the finish against Palestinian terror. Firstly, the Bush team openly brand Arafat a cheat and liar and will not forgive him for mocking General Anthony Zinni’s truce mission by blowing up the most brutal Palestinian terrorist assault ever in his face ... "