In an interview with Israeli Channel 2 news, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said Thursday that the administration of President George W. Bush had reached the conclusion that the entire Palestinian Authority leadership should be replaced, and not just chairman Yasser Arafat.
"It's not just a question of one man," said Rice, "it's an entire politcal regime that needs to be changed, so that one man does not control the lives of the entire population."
Later Thursday, Arafat told CNN that the United States should recognize the legitimate choices of the Palestinian people. The Palestinian leader said that he opposes suicide bombings, and that he was doing everything in his power to prevent them. He added that the decision of the Palestinian people to elect him as their leader could not be ignored. He explained that his people were suffering from problems, killings, hardships, and tragedies.
After claiming that President Bush should do more to help him, Arafat was asked how, given that the U.S. President has called for his replacement. Arafat insisted that Bush said that, as he did not mention the PA Chairman by name.