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The Part Played By Yasser Arafat In The Move Towards a Palestinian State.

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The Part Played By Yasser Arafat In The Move Towards a Palestinian State. Yasser Arafat was born into a Palestinian family in Egypt in 1929. Even in his early life he began fighting from age eighteen onwards, first the British, then the Israelis. At the age of thirty he founded a magazine in 1959 which aimed to create and identity for the Palestinians living in camps. This was a good way of giving the people publicity and also shows that his original motives when he was young were good. As time went on, Arafat's actions began to contradict his early good intentions as he set up Al-Fatah, a guerrilla movement that set up guerrilla cells to launch attacks into Israel. This already made him look like more of a terrorist than a freedom-fighter. In 1968 Arafat lost a war, his second major defeat after a battle lost in 1948. Despite this set-back in Arafat's campaign, he gained many new supporters who believed in what he was doing. ...read more.


In 1982 Israel attacked the Lebanon and Arafat fled. His leadership was weak but the upshot of the attacks was support gained from various parties. In 1987 Arafat seemed to change his tactics once more, making him look all the more fickle and unstable. He announced Intifada and at last respected the right for Israel to exist and renounced terror. At the time this showed that Arafat wanted to gain international respect and again would allow discussion, the possibility of peace and a move towards a Palestinian state. When the Gulf war began in 1990, Arafat made the massive mistake of siding with Saddam Hussein, a hated man who would gain Arafat no support. Fortunately, Hussein's influence on Arafat was not too extreme and Arafat continued to stick by peaceful words. Having agreed to begin the peace process, secret talks in Norway went on followed by a peace accord with Rabin. Palestine gained some authority in parts of the west bank and the Gaza strip. ...read more.


As Hamas continued suicide bombing, Sharon, a violent extremist leader, launched attacks into Palestine cities and captured Arafat prisoner. This once again made people feel sorry for him but it was becoming apparent that sympathy was getting him no where in the fight for a Palestinian state. On the 24th June President Bush calls for a change in leadership from Arafat. It had become the general opinion that Arafat's influence was useless. In conclusion Yasser Arafat has tried every tactic and almost always failed. But in terms of peace keeping he has generally done well, particularly by making the controversial decision of declining Clinton's offer because extremists from both sides would have been likely to react violently. His involvement with Camp David in 1978 and the Oslo Accords is progress that cannot be denied. Arafat must get some credit for this but without the help and encouragement of America who brokered the talks. If Arafat's claims are true; that he has no control over Hamas then Arafat has done as much as he can. Alex Hawthorne 11S 18 November 2002 History Coursework Mrs Allan ...read more.

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