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Middle East: Discussion
Why Pakis and Saudis always think same ...
<b>Saudis offer terrorists month to surrender</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (CNN) -- Saudi Arabia promised Wednesday that terrorists in the kingdom will be safe if they surrender within a month -- but after that they will face forceful consequences.
"We are announcing for the last time that we are opening the door to repentance and for those to return to righteousness," said Crown Prince Abdullah in a televised address.
<b>The Saudi Trap</b>A trip through the kingdom reveals what really needs to be done in the war on terror
By Fareed Zakaria
Disabled Saudi militant, suspected Al-Qaeda leader surrenders
Saudi children `taught to disparage infidels'

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Last year the Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, said there was ``no room in our schools for hatred, intolerance or for anti-western thinking.'' Officials announced two pilot programmes to develop new teaching methods.

But the Saudi Institute said yesterday there was no evidence the pilot programmes had taken place. The new curriculum, it said, had ``the same authors and the same ideas'' as the old one, but in different language.
Anti India Propaganda in the Saudi Text Books


National Education, Grade 9, (2000) pp. 17-19

Lesson Three: The Kingdom's Support of the Muslims' Causes
And among them - Kashmir, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Chechnya. 'It is our duty, as a
state honored by God with the service of the two noble sanctuaries [in Mecca and
Medina], to stand at the side of our Muslim brethren and extend them the help
that will enable them to provide [themselves] with the means of security,
stability and prosperity, with no interference on our part in their affairs and
with no conditions attached to our help to them.' Servant of the Two Noble
Sanctuaries, King Fahd Bin Abd al-Aziz, Tuesday, Shawwal 11, 1412 AH [1991].

Proceeding from this exalted idea of the leader of our march and the leader of
Muslim solidarity, our state has extended unlimited support for the purpose of
backing the Muslims' causes in all places. Among the examples for that [are the

A. Backing and Supporting the Cause of Kashmir
We know that Kashmir is a Muslim land that English Imperialism sold to the
Hindus. The Hindus have mistreated the Muslims as they have considered them
[part] of their possessions and denied them their religious and political
rights. Out of the principle of responsibility towards our Muslim brethren, our
state has spared no effort, with the cooperation of the Muslim states and
organizations, in saving the Muslims in Kashmir from the conspiracies that
threaten the existence of a whole people. The Muslims in Kashmir expect much of
their Muslim brethren, as the Kashmiri Jihad movements called upon the Muslim
states to intensify their efforts in their support politically and economically,
in view of their severe suffering in these two fields.

Dramatic Activity
The teacher will choose five students and will distribute among them the
following roles: 'Ahmad' is to represent the Republic of Kashmir.
'Tareq' is to represent the cause of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
'Ali' is to represent the Republic of Chechnya.
'Faisal' is to represent the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
'Majed' is to represent the League of the Muslim world.
Ahmad, Tareq and Ali will prepare short statements about the problems suffered
by the states they represent from the enemies of Islam and read them to their
classmates. Then Faisal, having prepared a statement about the role of the
Kingdom in support of these causes, will get up and read it to his classmates.
At the end Majed will stand up and talk about our duty towards our Muslim
brethren in all places, having prepared himself for that in advance.
<b>Hindus in Arabia</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> 
“At this juncture, when the war threatens to spread to the Near East, it will be interesting to learn that a community of people who are Hindus, and who are idol-worshippers, have been existing in Arabia for several centuries. They live surrounded by Muslim tribes.

“This Hindu community, which is well-organised, almost on the patterns of a little tribal state, was originally under the rule of Turkey. But, after the Great War of 1914, it came to be held under the mandate of France...

“The people of the above Hindu community speak Arabic, and they call themselves the ‘Durjas’. Their full name in Arabic is ‘Davil Dal Duruj’ which means ‘people of the Durja’.

“The Durjas are divided into two notable classes, one group comprises those who wear the orthodox tuft, and those who do not do so. Those who do not wear the tuft are in greater number... The Durjas are worshippers of Siva and Ganapati and they have idols installed in temples for their worship. Some of their shrines are actually built very much on the lines of Hindu temples in India. Many others have adopted the pattern of mosques. Whatever the construction of the shrines, they all have priests who perform sequences or rituals including that of arati.

“The religious books of the Durjas are found to be in Arabic script. They are written in the form of poetical lines and the priests have committed most of the books to their memory. Both the men and the women have modelled themselves on the Arab tribes and therefore display extremely war-like qualities and manners. Hence, repeated efforts over several centuries to convert them to Islam have failed. Similarly, strenuous efforts by the Muslims to exterminate them altogether have also been frustrated... <b>A significant difference marking the Durjas out is the refusal of their women to wear purdah. The survival of this freedom from their ancient Hindu origins is another surprising fact.” </b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Is Saudi Arabia running out of oil?
by Jon Markham

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Simmons says it's worse than that: Much like the biggest problem in the Enron fiasco was that analysts always trusted Enron managers’ declarations about the strength of its financial assets, he says that the world has always taken Saudi Arabia at its word for its oil assets. He now believes that it cannot be trusted.

He notes that the six major oil fields in Saudi Arabia, all discovered between 1940 and 1967, produce about 95% of Saudi oil. The Saudis produce 10% of the world’s oil from them at the world’s lowest prices, and the Saudis are the only serious provider of “spare” capacity on the planet. A single field, Ghawar, which is the world’s largest, was discovered in 1948 and produces up to 60% of the kingdom’s total.

He believes that production at these mature fields has peaked. While that doesn't mean they'll run out tomorrow, they're becoming much harder and more expensive to exploit efficiently. It’s much like a person getting older and suffering from arterial sclerosis: They slow down and become increasingly less capable. The Saudis are now using intense water-injection techniques to improve production, he says, a technique that can ultimately lead to catastrophic pressure failure.

Aramco disputes his claim, but Simmons notes correctly that its principal answer comes down to an Enron-like, “Trust me.” There's no solid independent data source of Saudi oil production. “A lack of verified data leaves the world in the dark,” he told the Hudson Institute.
<b>SAUDI MAN QUIZZED OVER SEX ATTACK</b> <!--emo&:furious--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/furious.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='furious.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<b>A Saudi man who was questioned in Britain about a sexual assault on an 11-year-old girl has been released after claiming diplomatic immunity.</b>

Scotland Yard said police took "no further action", but it had reported the matter to the Foreign Office (FO).

The man, 41, was arrested on suspicion of indecently assaulting the girl in west London on 26 July.

An FO spokesman said it was usual in such cases for there to be a request to waive diplomatic immunity.

<b>He added: "I can confirm we are aware of this case. We are in contact with the Saudi Embassy."</b>

Cheers <!--emo&:furious--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/furious.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='furious.gif' /><!--endemo-->
28 Pages Blacked Out of 9/11 Report Focuses on a Saudi Who Befriended Two of the Key Hijackers

Prince Bandar Responds to Sen. Graham's Book
<b>‘Destroy Saudi Arabia, Iran’ </b>Add Pakistan
London, September 12

Nobel Prize winning author Sir Vidia Naipaul has said countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran, which foment religious war, must be destroyed.

The 72-year-old India-born author, in an interview published in The Observer on Sunday, however had a word of advice for people: "hate oppression, but fear the oppressed." Naipaul said the thing he saw in the current terrorism was the exulting in other people's death.

"We are told the people who killed the children in Russia were smiling. The liberal voices were ready to explain the reasons for their actions. But this has no good side. It is as bad as it appears," he said.

Asked about a proper response of the West, Naipaul said "well, clearly Iraq is not the place to have gone. But religious war is so threatening to the rest of us that it cannot be avoided. "It will have to be fought... There are certain countries which foment it, and they probably should be destroyed, actually."

Question: Saudi Arabia?

Naipaul: "I would like to think so, yes."

Question: Iran?

Naipaul: "I think Iran has to be dealt with, too."

Naipaul believes that the world is yet to confront the implications of the rise of Islamic states.

Saudis for 4,500 madrasas in South Asia
13 September 2004:

The Saudi royal family has cleared plans to <b>construct 4,500 madrasas in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka at a cost of $ 35 million </b>to promote "modern and liberal education with Islamic values", and the Saudi embassy in New Delhi is pushing this somewhat tentatively with the Union HRD ministry and Minorities Commission.

While the House of Saud sees this as an exercise to correct the distorted worldwide image of Islam, crown prince Abdullah having pulled up the Jeddah-based International Islamic Council and Riyadh located World Muslim Council recently for not having done enough in that direction, similar attempts have been rebuffed in Europe after the Madrid commuter-train bombings and China has rejected religious donations.

<b>The money is proposed to be canalised through nine Jamaat Ulema organisations in the four countries</b>, and the project is targeted to take off in February 2005, lthough Saudi diplomats could not explain how teaching "liberal Islam" in India or the other South-Asian countries would alter negative European and generally Western thinking about the religion.
How to Reform Saudi Arabia Without Handing It to Extremists

The FP Memo-Foreign Policy
by F. Gregory Gause III | Sep 01 '04

To survive, the monarchy must battle the militants, reassure the religious establishment, and give the middle class a taste of democracy.

TO: Crown Prince Abdullah
FROM: F. Gregory Gause III
RE: Saving the Kingdom

The combination of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, rising oil prices, and the recent upsurge in violence in Saudi Arabia has made your political system enormously important to the rest of the world. Many observers in the West blame your schools and mosques for anti-Western hatred in the Muslim world. They portray your family's rule as both unstable and impervious to reform. Much of what is said about you outside the kingdom is, of course, uninformed or exaggerated for political effect. But external pressure will not disappear. Here are some steps you can take to placate your critics and strengthen your regime:

The Political Battle: Liberalize with Care

Security is your foremost challenge. Even after the attacks of September 11, some in your government believed you did not face an al Qaeda problem at home. The murderous assaults in Saudi Arabia over the last 15 months have given the lie to that view. Crushing the violent Islamist opposition now must be the first priority. You have embarked on a two-pronged policy that is conceptually sound but in need of some tailoring and more vigorous implementation.

The first element of your policy is armed confrontation with your opponents. Your June 2004 offer of limited amnesty to militants is appropriate, as long as it is a last chance for violent extremists to surrender, and not a gambit for negotiations with them. As the escape of three terrorists during the bloody May 2004 confrontation in Khobar indicates, your security forces require immediate attention. If the extremists have sympathizers in the security forces, you must root them out. If competence and vigilance are the problem, find more capable officers. The second element involves using the country's religious establishment to delegitimize the bin Ladenist message espoused by your opponents. This essential effort has already borne fruit: Last year, three prominent religious figures withdrew their earlier fatwas condoning political violence. However, you still must take several important steps to survive politically.

. Win the Battle of Ideas: The ideological battlefield in Saudi Arabia has long been tilted toward extreme positions that their proponents cloak in Islam. You need to reverse that trend. Some figures on the fringes of the religious establishment still want it both ways: They claim loyalty to you but waffle on the issue of violence against non-Muslims, particularly Americans. They style themselves as "mediators" between you and the extremists, implying that there is some middle ground in this struggle. You know who these sheiks are. Some of them have already spent time in your jails. If they persist in their positions, they should be reacquainted with those facilities.

Maybe they could even take the cells currently occupied by some potential allies in the ideological fight. Why are organizers of a petition supporting a constitutional monarchy in custody while you permit the authors of incendiary jihadist Web sites to publish freely in the kingdom? You do not have to accept all the reformers' proposals, but their voices may at least help to stem the jihadist tide, which has produced the violent opposition you now face. If an activist eschews violence and does not advocate the overthrow of the monarchy, why silence him?

. Resist Full-Scale Democratization: Outside observers, some well meaning and some Machiavellian, prescribe political liberalization as the antidote to your domestic terrorist problem. Don't take their word for it. An immediate move to an elected parliament would do more harm than good. Given their superior resources and organization, Islamist activists would do very well in these elections, which could complicate your security strategy. Moreover, elections make the religious establishment nervous, and with good reason. Mainstream religious leaders know that elections will end their monopoly on legitimate political discourse in the kingdom. You need these leaders to play their part in battling extremists; do not alienate them on this issue.

While fending off rapid democratization, you still must prepare for more participatory politics down the road. It will be important to reassure the Saudi middle class that their desire for greater openness will not be forgotten in the heat of the battle against militants. You can do so by proceeding with the municipal council elections scheduled for late this year. Only half of the seats on these councils will be elected. Go further. Move swiftly to fully elected membership. Give the councils genuine power on municipal issues and a real budget. If Islamist ideologues dominate the councils, let their constituents get a small taste of life under extremist leadership. But be careful how you set up the election system. Insist on single-member districts, which encourage moderation by requiring candidates to appeal to a majority of voters.

. Give the Consultative Council a Higher Profile: King Fahd created the Consultative Council in 1993 to provide public input into decision making. Although its members are appointed, the council represents educated and politically aware Saudis. Let it score some public victories over government ministries and allow its members to scrutinize a detailed government budget. The money question is central to the credibility of your governance. People want to know where state funds are going, particularly the windfall of recent years. Secrecy on money matters spawns rumors that are more critical of your governance than reality probably merits. Granting the council budget oversight will complicate the work of your ministers but enhance the credibility of this important representative institution.

. Expand Religious Tolerance: Saudi Arabia will always be a Wahhabi state, and the religious establishment offers crucial legitimacy for your family's political role. But in the large cities such as Riyadh and in regions outside of Najd, you should gradually permit greater public expression of the various Muslim religious and cultural traditions that the kingdom encompasses. Including Shia and Sufis in the ongoing national dialogue and allowing Shia to observe rituals publicly in the Eastern Province this year were good first steps. The limited decentralization produced by municipal elections could also boost religious tolerance. Although convincing the kingdom's men of religion will not be easy, these modest steps need not challenge the establishment's perks of power or its primacy in interpreting the "state religion."

Beyond Oil: The Broader Economic Imperatives

High oil prices in the last few years spurred economic growth and replenished depleted cash reserves, but this temporary reprieve must not lead to complacency. Continue encouraging private investment-both domestic and foreign-in various economic sectors. The service industry, in particular, could provide more jobs for unemployed Saudi youth. Spend some of the surplus on high-profile projects to improve the country's decaying infrastructure, particularly in water and electricity. But also focus on the following broader goals:

. Cut Birthrates: In the long term, the kingdom's economic picture is gloomy: Simply put, the country's burgeoning population will soon outstrip your capacity to provide for it. Neighboring Bahrain, whose oil resources are almost depleted, now has a higher per capita income than Saudi Arabia does. You encouraged population growth for the past 30 years, and the kingdom now has one of the highest birthrates in the region. It is time to reverse course. You can learn from the many successful family-planning programs in other Muslim countries, such as Egypt and Iran, where government initiatives have lowered birthrates.

. Reduce the Foreign Workforce: Your society will not indefinitely tolerate rising unemployment among citizens while you host more than 6 million foreign workers. Fortunately, your imminent accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) gives you an opening to negotiate a "grand bargain" on the issue of foreign workers in the kingdom. The WTO rules will expose domestic industries to fierce competition and may put them in a more conciliatory mood. In exchange for private-sector cooperation in trimming the foreign workforce, you could offer educational programs to better prepare Saudi students for the job market. (If inducements don't work, though, be ready to impose taxes that increase the cost of foreign labor to employers.) Introduce this program gently to avoid shocking the private

. Recast Social Reform as Economic Reform: You should slide your educational reform and women's rights initiatives under the economic tent. The modest but encouraging steps you have taken here include eliminating egregious attacks on Christians, Jews, and Shia Muslims from school textbooks, teaching English in earlier grades, and easing women's entry into the labor force. The best way to continue these controversial social moves is to portray them as part of economic reform, which is broadly popular in the kingdom, rather than social liberalization to appease foreign critics. Packaging these important changes as economic reforms is smart politics and might keep the religious establishment from intervening. You need to be particularly cautious about women's issues in the short term, because nothing else could more quickly alienate the religious leaders whose support you need for the security fight.

Keep the United States on Your Side

Your relationship with the United States can't be as close as it was in the decade between the 1991 Gulf War and the September 11 attacks. Washington's persistent pressure for domestic reform in your country will only increase the tension. But there remain two common interests on which you can build a new and mutually advantageous relationship: fighting extremists and keeping the oil flowing. The jihadists are as much your enemy as America's, and you have the same interest in oil-market stability at bearable prices as the United States. Your recent steps have helped in Washington, but the U.S. public will scrutinize Saudi behavior to see if you fully implement your promises.

. Bring Your Charities Home: You seem to recognize that some of the Muslim institutions your oil money built have become conduits for material and ideological support to terrorists. This development was the unintended result of lax oversight on your part. (And let's not forget that the United States not long ago encouraged you to spread your version of Islam to counter both Soviet communism and Iran's revolutionary Shiism.) But the world has changed, and your role in the Muslim world must change with it. The countries in which your charity is spent must have a greater role in choosing the personnel who will operate the institutions and lead the mosques you build, even if they will not be as "Wahhabi" as some in your religious establishment might like. As you have said publicly, more of your charity should be directed at home, where needs exist that were unanticipated in the heady days of the oil boom.

Unfortunately, you have sent some confusing signals on charity reform recently. Adel al-Jubeir, your foreign-policy adviser, came to Washington in June 2004 to announce the closure of the Al-Haramain Charitable Foundation, which funneled money to al Qaeda and its sympathizers. Just three days after Jubeir's visit, however, the head of Al-Haramain told reporters that he received no order from your government to close his offices or dissolve his foundation. Get everybody on the same page.

. Recall Prince Bandar: You should reconsider your representation in the United States. Prince Bandar, your ambassador in Washington, was the right man for the job when Saudi-U.S. relations were conducted only at the highest levels and outside public view. Now you need someone who can sell Saudi Arabia as a reliable partner to the American public. Prince Bandar wrote an excellent article in the Saudi press this year calling for a new seriousness in your strategy toward violent domestic opponents. He could help coordinate that strategy at home, while a new ambassador in Washington begins to rebuild Saudi Arabia's reputation in the United States.

. Pump Up the Volume: Oil, of course, is the other key issue with the United States. It has always been the basis of the relationship and remains the source of your global economic influence. Unfortunately, your oil minister made a huge miscalculation at the beginning of 2004. Believing prices would decline after the winter, he pushed the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to reduce production quotas. Instead, demand boomed and prices skyrocketed. As you know, the thrill of getting $40 per barrel is nothing compared to the long-term health of the world economy, upon which oil demand is based.

Given the uncertainties about future supply and demand, you can reassure the world oil market by increasing your production capacity. Doing so would be costly, but it would also signal your commitment to help stabilize the market. Your moves to increase Saudi production and push OPEC quotas back up are a good start. Now try to nudge prices down toward $30 per barrel-and make sure the U.S. public knows about your efforts. Affordable oil is good for the world economy and in your long-term interests. And the more responsible you are on oil issues, the more likely it is that the United States will have an interest in the stability of your government.

F. Gregory Gause III is associate professor of political science at the University of Vermont and author of Oil Monarchies: Domestic and Security Challenges in the Arab Gulf States (New York: Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1994).
Copyright © 2001-2004, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
<b>Naif Rules Out Women’s Vote in Civic Poll</b>
P.K. Abdul Ghafour, Arab News


JEDDAH, 11 October 2004 — Interior Minister <b>Prince Naif yesterday ruled out prospects of women’s participation in the upcoming municipal elections. “I don’t think it’s possible,”</b>he told reporters in Kuwait when asked whether Saudi women could take part in the first-ever nationwide civic elections.

Prince Naif’s statement, the first by a top official, puts an end to speculation on women’s participation in the elections, which are to start Feb. 10 and continue until April 21. The elections will be conducted in three phases in order to choose half the members of the 178 municipal councils in the Kingdom’s 13 regions.

The General Committee for Municipal Elections stated last month that women would not be allowed to run in the elections. Responding to intentions of some women to run for office, an official source said they had misunderstood the law which had clearly stated that only

<b>“muwatin” (male citizens) are allowed to participate.” The law did not use the word “muwatina” (female citizen), thus excluding women from taking part in elections, Al-Jazirah newspaper reported, quoting the source</b>.

At his news conference, Prince Naif refuted the claim unemployment was the reason for terrorism in the Kingdom. He said many of the terror suspects arrested by security officers were either employees receiving high salaries or traders.

Referring to the closure of Al-Haramain Charitable Foundation, the minister said the measure was due to organizational reasons. “The foundation was not organized... and this resulted in things happening that harmed the country,” he said. However, he emphasized that it would not affect charitable activities in the Kingdom.

He described the two-day meeting of GCC interior ministers in Kuwait as successful.

The ministers reiterated their rejection of terrorism and pledged full support for Saudi Arabia’s battle against Al-Qaeda militants. “The ministers reiterated their countries’ rejections of all forms of terrorism, regardless of its source and justification,” said the final communiqué read by GCC Secretary-General Abdul Rahman Al-Attiyah. “They expressed satisfaction at measures and mechanisms adopted by member states at the domestic, regional and international levels in confronting the scourge of terror,” the communiqué added.

The GCC consists of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. The GCC states “declare their total support for all measures adopted by Saudi Arabia in confronting terror attacks by misguided terrorist elements,” said the communiqué.

During Saturday’s opening session, Prince Naif said the GCC states needed to do more to defeat terrorism. “You are aware that our confrontation of terrorism was, and continues to be, fierce and very strong,” he said.

The Kingdom has suffered a string of terror attacks in the past 18 months that has left some 100 people dead and hundreds wounded.

The attacks have led to strong government crackdown on Al-Qaeda sympathizers blamed for the violence.

The ministers commended the Kingdom’s plan to host an international conference on terrorism in February. “This shows Riyadh’s desire to make effective contributions to regional and international efforts to fight terrorism,” the communiqué said
"In Nablus, Israeli undercover troops late Monday killed three Palestinian militants affiliated with Arafat's Fatah (news - web sites) movement in a gunbattle in the Casbah, the city's crowded center.

Witnesses said some of the <b>soldiers disguised themselves in the head-to-toe coverings of Muslim women and carried trays of sweets as they approached the militants sitting in a coffee shop.</b> <!--emo&:lol:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='laugh.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Palestinian witnesses said the soldiers opened fire without warning, killing two wanted men. The army said the fugitives had drawn pistols before they were shot."

<b>Arafat's condition described as ‘very, very grave’</b>
Palestinian leader said to have slipped into coma and may die today or near death (according to TV news)
Israeli hand ????
Arafat is clinically dead. Final announcement will come after sunset.
<b>Will $1 billion be buried with Arafat?</b>
By Paul Martin
LONDON — Palestinian officials who gathered around Yasser Arafat in recent weeks have been anxious to extract from their ailing leader the secret codes and locations of bank accounts they believe contain more than $1 billion diverted from official Palestinian funds.
"A huge scramble has been going on to get the codes he holds in his head for various bank accounts he holds in secret," says a senior Palestinian banker.
"It's an uphill struggle, and we may never get the bulk of it," says the official, who declined to be identified out of fear for his safety.

"It's been his key to holding on to power and influence, and some of it may go to the grave with him. If the numbers die with him, then the Swiss bankers and other bankers worldwide will be rubbing their hands in glee," the Palestinian banker says.
Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary-General Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath were flying to Paris and hoped to see Mr. Arafat today.
Mr. Arafat's wife lashed out at his top lieutenants, accusing them of traveling to Paris with plans to "bury" her husband "alive," the Associated Press reported today.
In a screaming telephone call from Mr. Arafat's hospital bedside, Suha Arafat told Al Jazeera television that his top aides were conspiring to usurp her husband's four-decade role as Palestinian leader.
Jawad Ghussein, who was secretary-general of the Palestinian National Fund until 1996 but now lives in London, charged last week that Mr. Arafat had for years misappropriated Palestinian funds — much of it donated by oil-rich Arab governments — for personal use.
"The billions Arafat has stolen over the years from the Palestinian people facilitated the corruption of the Palestinian leadership, and is the source of his power over them," Mr. Ghussein says.
Mr. Ghussein says that for 12 years he had deposited $7.5 million to $8 million each month into Mr. Arafat's personal bank account.
"The money is in personal accounts under his complete control," he was quoted as saying. "Only one person knew where [the money] went, and that was Arafat."
Saudi contributions until 2003 amounted to $15.4 million every two months, and the United States has increased its annual contribution to the Palestinian Authority to $223 million.
An International Monetary Fund report, "Economic Performance and Reforms under Conflict Conditions," released in September 2003, concluded that $900 million in Palestinian Authority revenues from 69 commercial enterprises had "disappeared" between 1995 and 2000.
The report also found that $34 million out of the $74 million 2003 budget for Mr. Arafat's own office was missing after having been transferred to pay unidentified organizations and individuals.
The IMF report traced some $1.1 billion diverted by Mr. Arafat to a "special account" at Bank Leumi in Tel Aviv. It is not clear what happened to that money but, according to some Palestinian reports, during the past year Mr. Arafat and his close aides have switched banks and have diversified the portfolio.
Shortly before Mr. Arafat was flown from Ramallah for treatment in France, his wife received $60 million in her Paris bank account. According to French press reports, authorities in France are investigating the transfer.
Banking sources in Geneva say some accounts, either numbered or in the name of the Palestinian leader's wife, have been moved from Switzerland to Caribbean financial havens. These apparently include about $300 million previously held by Mr. Arafat at the Odier Bank in Geneva.
The New York-based American Center for Democracy said in a report in July that Mr. Arafat also personally controlled 60 percent of the security-apparatus budget, which left him with an additional $360 million per year to spend as he chose.
The center said that from July 2002 to September 2003, Mr. Arafat transferred $11.4 million to bank accounts controlled by Mrs. Arafat, who is living luxuriously in Paris and is known for her extravagant shopping habits.
As of August 2002, the center reported, Mr. Arafat's personal holdings included $500 million that rightfully belonged to the Palestine Liberation Organization. In all, his holdings were estimated to total $1.3 billion at that time.
The money "is enough to feed 3 million Palestinians for one year, and also buy 1,000 mobile intensive care units, as well as to fund 10 hospitals for a decade," the center said. At least 60 percent of the Palestinian Authority's budget comes from international aid contributions, of which the European Union is the largest donor.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, individual EU member states have donated at least $1.3 billion to the Palestinian Authority. Total aid from Europe — including EU donations — from 1998 to 2001 has totaled at least $4 billion.
In December the United States, Japan, the European Union and Norway, joined by the Arab League countries and the International Monetary Fund, approved another $1.2 billion to the Palestinian Authority for the 2004 budget.
Andrew Borowiec in Cyprus contributed to this report.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Palestinian leader Arafat dies at 75</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Shortly after Arafat succumbed to a lengthy and unknown illness, the French military escorted his casket to an air base where it departed for a planned funeral in Cairo, Egypt.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Today in Today’s Show (NBC) Brian William while filing a report from Ramallaha “there was unmanageable crowd around helicopter it will give wrong impression to Western World”
Do they think Eastern World is uncivilized and chaotic?
Whatever west defines is a correct way to behave.

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