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Arafat criticised

Almost half the Palestinians in the occupied territories disagree with the handling of negotiations with Israel by Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, while only one-third see the PLO as fit to rule Jericho and the Gaza Strip, according to a poll by CNN and the Arabic satellite network MBC, writes Adel Darwish.

Only 45 per cent of the 1,622 Palestinians interviewed in the West Bank and Gaza supported the peace agreement. This was down from 68 per cent in a similar poll last September. Fewer than 22 per cent thought Mr Arafat was a democrat, while 44 per cent said he had managed the negotiations badly.