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So exactly how did Yasser Arafat get so rich?

THE usual suspects are making a fuss since it was discovered after an exhumation that Palestinian terrorist leader Yasser Arafat might have been poisoned with polonium and the finger might be pointed at Israel.



I have seen acres of breast-beating journalism about the Palestinian misery but never an examination into where all the donated money has gone over the years. For this is certain: Arab donors and a generous non-Arab world have donated many billions to the Palestinian cause.

Take the Gaza strip. It is a bloc of land 25 miles long and six miles wide on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean.

Its northern and eastern borders are Israel, its 11-mile southern border is Egypt and its western border the glittering Med. Over the years since the founding of Israel in 1948 literally billions of pounds have been donated to help its people have a decent life.

If it had been invested shrewdly and well Gaza today could be a mini-Monaco. It could have a deepwater freight port, a flourishing fishing port and a leisure harbour crammed with the yachts of wealthy visitors. It could have resort hotels on the sea and farms, ranches and orchards in the hinterland producing nutritious food.

It has nothing of these. It is a failed state of poverty, misery and violence. So what happened to all that money? Well, a lot went on guns, explosives for bombs and material to build rockets to launch at Israel. But the bulk has certainly suffered the fate of most wealth


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