Abbas says he seeks to move Arafat shrine to Jerusalem

Speaking during a memorial marking 10 years since Arafat's death in Ramallah, Abbas said Arafat should "remain immortal in the hearts of our people."

November 10, 2014 11:56
1 minute read.
Oslo Agreement

PLO chairman Yasser Arafat holds the second phase of the Oslo peace accords after the initialling of the document, September 24.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that he intends to move the shrine for late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to Jerusalem, the Bethlehem-based Ma'an News Agency reported Sunday.

Speaking during a memorial marking 10 years since Arafat's death in Ramallah, Abbas said Arafat should "remain immortal in the hearts of our people."

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The official cause of Arafat's death, in a French hospital, was a massive stroke, but doctors said at the time they were unable to determine the origin of his illness. Many Palestinians believe Israel killed him.

Arafat's body was exhumed last year at the behest of his widow and the PA to check reports that his 2004 death came as a result of poisoning. A Swiss forensic team said that results from their tests of samples taken from Arafat's body were consistent with polonium poisoning but were not absolute proof of the cause of death. A French forensic team concluded that Arafat did not die of poisoning.

Abbas spoke Sunday night at the opening of a museum to Arafat in Ramallah. A memorial to the former Fatah leader was cancelled in Gaza after a series of bombings targeted the homes and vehicles of 15 senior Fatah officials in the Gaza Strip on Friday.

The site in Gaza City where the rally was supposed to take place was also targeted.

Fatah has held Hamas responsible for the bombings, saying they were aimed at preventing the rally from taking place.

Hamas continues to deny responsibility for the explosions, which have further strained relations between the rival parties.

Khaled Abu Toameh and Reuters contributed to this report.

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