Riot ensues after police shut down Arafat memorial in east Jerusalem

At least three detained after rioters threw rocks at police, and officers were forced to use stun grenades on crowd.

November 13, 2013 01:30
1 minute read.
Palestinians hold posters of the late Yasser Arafat during a rally in Jerusalem.

Palestinians hold Arafat rally 370. (photo credit: Ammar Awad/Reuters)


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After police prevented some 80 Fatah members from holding a memorial celebration to honor former PLO leader Yasser Arafat on Monday in east Jerusalem a riot broke out resulting in the use of stun grenades and at least three detainments.

According to police, the afternoon celebration was to be held at a social club in the neighborhood of Ma’ale Hazeitim. This is a violation of Israeli law forbidding Fatah and Hamas members from holding or sponsoring events of any kind in the capital.

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“Police were notified that it was taking place and got a court order to shut down the scheduled event,” said a police spokesperson Tuesday.

“After it was closed down a riot broke, stones were thrown at officers and police were forced to use stun grenades to quell the disturbance.”

The spokesperson said no officers were seriously injured in the melee and no arrests were made.

Arafat died in France on November 11, 2004 at the age of 75. Doctors were unable to specify the cause of death and no post-mortem was carried out at the time.

Palestinian investigators have long accused Israel of poisoning the former PLO chairman with radioactive polonium, and have exhumed Arafat’s body to prove so.

The Israeli government staunchly denies the allegation, calling it “nonsense” and a “soap opera.”

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