Israel mulls consequences of Arafat death

Nov. 4, 2004 at 11:58 AM
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JERUSALEM, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Israeli security forces met in Jerusalem Thursday to discuss the consequences of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's possible death, Ha'aretz reported.

Although the meeting was a regularly scheduled one, the main topic for Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and army chief Moshe Ya'alon, was based on news Arafat's health had taken a sudden turn for the worse at a hospital outside Paris.

The newspaper said the army has a contingency plan, called "New Leaf," to deal with the fallout from the 75-year-old's death, including the possibility of Palestinian rioting.

Labor Party Chairman Shimon Peres, who shared a Nobel Peace Prize with Arafat and assassinated Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin in 1994 for signing an interim peace deal, told Army Radio the Palestinian leader's death would have a major impact on the region and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said Wednesday officials were closely monitoring Arafat's health, but noted, "It is too soon to eulogize Yasser Arafat."

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