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Arafat was dragged into 'Oslo trap' by entourage, claims former aide

Then-Chairman of Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Yasser Arafat addresses in July 1972 in Kampala delegates of the Organisation of African Unity (OUA) [AFP via Getty Images]
Then-Chairman of Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Yasser Arafat addresses in July 1972 in Kampala delegates of the Organisation of African Unity (OUA) [AFP via Getty Images]

A former senior aide of Yasser Arafat said on Wednesday that the late PLO leader was dragged into the "Oslo trap" by his entourage. Bassam Abu Sharif made the claim in an interview with Al-Resalah.

"I asked Arafat why they wanted him secretly and alone in this agreement," explained Abu Sharif. "He did not answer me, but he had a dream to create a state and return to occupied Palestine."

He pointed out that Oslo preceded the Madrid talks and Arafat's entourage deceived him. "I knew that Oslo was a trap so I advised him not to go there."

READ: On Oslo's 29th anniversary, only Israelis have benefited from the accords

According to the former aide, Arafat's entourage set the trap in order to get rid of him, Fatah and the PLO for the sake of taking up the responsibility for the Palestinian cause. "A notable thing in the issue was that all close aides of Arafat who worked against him became leaders later on."

The late Palestinian president, Abu Sharif added, was pushed into accepting Oslo because of the financial and political pressure on the PLO. When Arafat recognised that he had fallen into the trap, he returned to resistance against the Israeli occupation. "This led to him being poisoned and killed," he claimed.

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