Palestine officers denounce Arafat

PALESTINIAN SECURITY officers have distributed a leaflet denouncing Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, for corruption and collaborating with Israel, and warning he will share the same fate as Nicolae Ceausescu, the Romanian Communist dictator executed in 1989.

The leaflet, a sign that Palestinians as a whole may be turning against Mr Arafat and signed by an anonymous group calling itself Free Officers, accuses Mr Arafat of "giving authority to 3,000 thieves".

They are able to travel freely outside the Palestinian enclaves in Gaza and the West Bank through a special agreement with Israel.

The leaflet names senior lieutenants of Mr Arafat, saying they take bribes, get medical treatment abroad, are given free apartments and drive luxury cars, while ordinary Palestinian "soldiers do not receive their legal salaries".

The leaflet says labourers have to pay pounds 80 to pounds 160 each to Palestinian officials to get a work permit for Israel. The spread of the leaflet underlines the deep and growing rift between the Palestinian elite, who returned from exile with Mr Arafat in 1994, and the 2.5 million Palestinians who live in the West Bank and Gaza.

"Nobody would dare publish it in the papers, but it is being talked about in every home in the West Bank because they think its accusations are true," said one Palestinian, who lives in Ramallah, a town north of Jerusalem. He wished to remain anonymous.

Palestinians have often criticised men around Mr Arafat for corruption, but have usually seen the Palestinian leader as misled or misadvised.

At the heart of discontent is a sense that Mr Arafat, and the small group of men he brought back from exile in Tunis, have done well out of the Oslo Accords negotiated with Israel in 1993.

But nearly all Palestinians have seen their living standards plunge and their freedom of movement decrease over the past six years.

The leaflet attacks by name almost all of Mr Arafat's senior aides, particularly Musa Arafat, the head of military intelligence, and Khalid Salam, his business adviser. It also says: "The financial department headed by Fou'ad al-Shobaki includes a list of 80 names of people on the payroll, of whom only a few come to work."

The leaflet adds that friends of the elite and collaborators with Israel receive promotion in the security services, while those veterans long active in the Palestinian struggle are ignored.

A further sign of Palestinian discontent with Mr Arafat's leadership was the dismal turn-out for the so-called Palestinian "Day of Rage" on 3 June, called to protest against the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Only 3,000 Palestinians demonstrated, compared with the hundreds of thousands who took to the streets during the Palestinian intifada (uprising) against Israel between 1987 and 1992. Palestinian observers said the small turnout was closely linked to popular disillusionment with Mr Arafat and his regime.

Palestinian businessmen and foreign diplomats say corruption in the Gaza security forces has reached saturation point. Bribes are said to be required to carry out almost any business activity. One diplomat told The Independent: "Some businessmen won't leave home without a bodyguard because they are frightened of being kidnapped by the security forces and held for ransom."

The leaders of the 11 security services established by Mr Arafat have made money since he returned to Gaza from, Tunis.

But men from elements of the old Palestinian regular forces known as the Palestine Liberation Army are still poorly paid. The authors of the leaflet are likely to come from their ranks.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
Ronaldinho signs the t-shirt of a pitch invader
footballProof they are getting bolder
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
indybestKeep extra warm this year with our 10 best bedspreads
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
voicesBy the man who has
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Associate Recrutiment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?