A woman holds a portrait of Arafat during a peace rally held by Fatah supporters in the West Bank. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

1993: Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat said his mainstream group Fatah had approved a self-rule deal with Israel and that Israel and the PLO would exchange documents on mutual recognition very soon. “The project was approved and transferred to the other Palestinian leaderships,” he told reporters at his headquarters after three days of debate in Fatah’s central committee. “It is expected that we [Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and the PLO] will sign together,” he added. Arafat said the Arab states were talking with Israel to sign other agreements simultaneously within days. Fatah Central Committee member Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) said the agreement would be discussed by Fatah’s 100-member Revolutionary Council and also by the PLO’s 18-man Executive Committee and 100-strong Central Council. Arafat, leader of both Fatah and the PLO, has been trying to sell the agreement to reluctant Fatah members.

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