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We all know that this ridiculous Arafat life and death dance was all about the BenjaminsNYT: Arafat Mystery Lingers — Whereabouts of His Hidden Fortune.

The battle over Yasir Arafat’s legacy involves an unstated but widely acknowledged concern: He personally controlled several billion dollars, and no one else knows where it all is.

The extent and whereabouts of this fortune, which relies on different aides and advisers as co-signers, had been a hidden part of the disputes at his bedside, Israeli and Palestinian officials say.

Mr. Arafat, who died in Paris on Thursday morning, kept knowledge of the accounts compartmentalized, and only he knew all the details, well-informed Israeli officials say, in assertions confirmed reluctantly by Palestinian officials who do not want to harm Mr. Arafat’s legacy.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding