Israel: January 11, 2002


: Palestinian police arrested two senior Palestinian officials for suspected complicity in arranging the the attempted smuggling of 50 tons of weapons from Iran. A third man, the deputy commander of Palestinian Authority navy, is being sought. All this indicates that Palestinian leader Arafat, who denies any knowledge of the arms smuggling, is either trying to serve up some culprits and get himself off the hook, or that Arafat is not completely in control of the Palestinian Authority. Either situation is possible. Arafat is getting old and he maintains (as most dictators do), multiple military and security forces. All these organizations make it harder for him to be overthrown, but it is also more likely that some of these outfits will do things Arafat won't find out about until after the fact.