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09 November 2004

Arafat and the hidden Millions

Will $1 billion be buried with Arafat?
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.

I'm confused : the problem is           a) "the passing" of the revered palestinian leader
                                                                b) "the passing" of over a billion dollars.
That would explain Mrs Arafat's accusations. She worried about her nestegg?

"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."

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