JERUSALEM (AP) -- Yasser Arafat blasted U.S. national security adviser Condoleezza Rice on Monday for comments condemning his Palestinian Authority, saying she has no right to dictate to Palestinians how their future state should look.
Arafat's comments came shortly after a Palestinian blew himself up in Israeli territory near the West Bank, killing only himself. Israeli officials, who have begun building a controversial electronic fence to keep suicide bombers out, also said planning would begin this month to extend the fence the length of the West Bank.
Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said he believed the bomber was one five assailants Israeli security forces have been searching for. Ben-Eliezer has said Israel has received intelligence information that five Palestinian suicide bombers are trying to infiltrate into Israel.
Arafat has been under U.S. and Israeli pressure to curb attacks on Israel, and both nations have begun urging reforms in the Palestinian Authority and new elections. Israel wants Arafat sidelined. The United States has been openly critical of the Palestinian leader, but has stopped short of demanding Arafat be replaced.
Rice, in an interview with The Mercury News, a San Jose, California, newspaper, said a Palestinian state should not be based on Arafat's Palestinian Authority, which she said is "corrupt and cavorts with terror."
Asked about the Rice comment, Arafat said Monday that "she does not have the right to put or impose orders on us about what to do or not to do."
"We are doing what we see as good for our people and we do not accept any orders from anyone," Arafat said while touring schools in the West Bank town of Ramallah.
Monday's aborted attack took place near the Israeli Arab village of Marja, in Israeli territory close to the West Bank, said police spokesman Gil Kleiman.
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