Palestinians rally in commemoration of Arafat’s death

By Xinhua

Gaza : President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and tens of thousands of Palestinians rallied in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday to mark the third anniversary of late leader Yasser Arafat’s passing away.

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Tens of thousands of Palestinian men and women gathered at the yard of al-Muqata’a, where Arafat’s tomb is located, chanting slogans supporting Abbas and condemning Islamic Hamas bloody takeover of the Gaza Strip.

The rally crowd, including Abbas and Fayyad, wore the Kofeya, or Fatah movement’s scarf, waving Fatah and Palestinian flags. Huge posters of Arafat were hanged on the walls around the yard.

“We are one people, we have one unified leadership, which is Palestine Liberation Organization under the command of President Mahmoud Abbas,” said Yahia Yakhlof, organizer of the rally.

Several Palestinian speakers delivered speeches to the rally, during which they remembered Arafat, who led the Palestinian people toward an independent Palestinian state for more than 40 years.

Abbas would give a speech to mark the anniversary before he heads to Jordan on a quick region tour that would also take him to Turkey and Egypt.

Arafat died in a French Hospital in Paris on Nov. 11, 2004 of a mysterious disease. Abbas succeeded Arafat in a presidential elections held in the Palestinian territories in January 2005.