Abbas. 'All prisoners must be released'
Photo: AFP

Thousands attend Arafat memorial rally

'Palestinian state to arise cleared of settlements,' says Abbas on six-year anniversary of PA chairman's death

Thousands of Palestinians on Thursday attended a Ramallah memorial service for former Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, on the six-year anniversary of his death. Arafat's nephew, Nasser al-Qudwa, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke at the ceremony.


"We will continue to do everything in order to get to the bottom of Arafat's assassination and poisoning," al-Qudwa said.


Abbas promised the Palestinian people would continue in the leader's prescribed path. "The Palestinian state will arise when it is cleared of settlements," he said, stressing that he would not sign a peace agreement that did not include the release of all Palestinian prisoners, whom he referred to as the pride of the people.


The president added that Israelis should choose peace over West Bank settlements. Children on both sides should "taste coexistence ... before the opportunity is lost," he added.


Hadash Chairman Knesset Member Mohammad Barakeh also spoke at the ceremony. "We are being kept busy with the 'Judaization' of the state and I congratulate the Palestinian leadership for refusing to buy this," he said.


"Any attempt to impose a fraudulent history on our lives will end in failure. The Zionist movement is a new history trying to impose itself on the Palestinian leadership in order to eradicate the right of return and turn the Nakba into a happenstance occurrence," Barakeh added.


"We say this not out of enmity towards Jews, though (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu tries to introduce us into the cycle of anti-Semitism, but rather out of objection to racist Zionism."


The MK, who had to pause a number of times for applause, also said that "the spectacles of 1948 will never again return".


Barakeh also implicitly referred to various cases in which Israeli-Arabs have been charged with espionage, saying, "We are the ones who stayed on the homeland, and we are not a spy project for governments or organizations."


Ali Waked and AP contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 11.11.10, 15:03
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