RAMALLAH, Nov. 11 – Palestinians marked on Saturday 13 years after the passing of historic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in unknown circumstances in Paris.
Palestinians from all over the West Bank and those living in Israel poured into the mausoleum of the late president paying respect and placing wreaths of flowers on his grave.
Mofeda Abu Baker, a Palestinian artist living in Israel said that Arafat represented an important symbol in the lives of Palestinians.
“We are proud of Yasser Arafat. He struggled for the Palestinian cause and fought until almost the end of his days,” she said.
The Yasser Arafat museum and a mosque were built around his mausoleum, creating a triangular garden that includes greenery, water and two stories of Arafat’s memories and personal belongings that are open for public and frequently visited around the the first week of November each year, to commemorate his passing.
Arafat died on Nov. 11, 2004, at the age of 75, at a hospital in France due to an unknown illness, amidst Palestinian accusations to Israel of poisoning him.
Israel denies such accusations.
Arafat’s wife has resorted to the French judiciary to look into her husband’s death, but no results were made public.
Arafat lead the PLO since 1969 and became the first President of the Palestinian National Authority since its establishment in 1994, following the signing of the interim Oslo accords between the PLO and Israel in 1993.
In 1994, Arafat received the Nobel Peace Prize, jointly with Yitzhak Rabi and Shimon Peres for the achievement of the historic deal.
(Copyright Xinhua, received through National News Agency)