The Palestinian Authority (PA) commemorated on Thursday the 12th anniversary of President Yasser Arafat’s death, as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for 2017 to mark the end of the Israeli occupation.
While at a ceremony in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah where thousands of Palestinians were in attendance, Abbas hailed the late Palestinian leader, saying that “Yasser Arafat is still alive in us and we are inspired with more persistence and determination because of him.”
Abbas said “you ask me who killed him, I know — but my testimony alone is not enough .. A commission of inquiry is digging into that, but you’ll find out at the earliest opportunity and be amazed when you know who did it.”
“I do not want to mention names, because these names do not deserve to be remembered,” he added.
Yasser Arafat museum to open in his old West Bank headquarters https://t.co/ukgFX0ZQrJ
— The Guardian (@guardian) November 8, 2016
Abbas’ statement came as the president and the Fatah-led PA has become increasingly unpopular in past years, with Palestinians criticizing Fatah infighting, the government’s security coordination with Israel, and its perceived inability to push for a solution to the Israeli occupation.
Meanwhile, at least one Palestinian youth was injured during clashes with Israeli forces at a demonstration for Arafat outside of Ramallah. Last year, at least 70 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces while commemorating the 11th anniversary of Arafat’s death.
Palestine’s President Mahmud Abbas says knows who killed Y. Arafat during 12th anniversary of former leader's deathhttps://t.co/JLikho40pe
— DAILY SABAH (@DailySabah) November 10, 2016
Arafat died in France on Nov. 11, 2004, at the age of 75, but doctors were unable to specify the cause of death. No autopsy was carried out at the time, in line with his widow’s request.
His remains were exhumed in November 2012 and samples were taken, partly to investigate whether he had been poisoned — a suspicion that grew after the assassination of Russian ex-spy and Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko in 2006.
Palestinians to get a chance to glimpse the small bedroom where Yasser Arafat spent his final years at new museum. https://t.co/muNnxhkzsg
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 7, 2016
French judges investigating claims that Arafat was murdered closed the case in September without bringing any charges, saying that evidence did not demonstrate the leader had been poisoned.
(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)