Tags: Arafat | Leaves | Compound

Arafat Leaves Compound

Thursday, 02 May 2002 12:00 AM

Arafat was surrounded by bodyguards and aides as he walked out of the building housing his office. Many of the men had been with Arafat since the Israeli siege of the compound began March 29. Arafat himself had been kept in the compound since Dec. 2.

Flashing a victory sign from the window of his limousine, Arafat reacted to the crowds, who shouted support. The vehicle then pulled away in a three-car convoy, with several bodyguards running alongside.

Arafat was taken to Ramallah Hospital, where he visited the garden burial site of 10 Palestinians killed during the Israeli army incursion into Ramallah four weeks ago. He also visited several Palestinian Authority buildings, which also were raided by the Israeli army.

"We will continue to the end of the road toward Jerusalem, the capital of the independent Palestinian state," Arafat said during his tour, and then he chanted with a loud voice, "To Jerusalem we go, millions of martyrs."

Arafat said Palestinians were the toughest people in the region, "ready to defend their holiest sites. But they believe that they will reach peace one day."

He said that despite the widespread destruction, "we will build all that had been destroyed again.

"This aggression would never break the determination of our people in looking for freedom and independence," Arafat said.

He angrily condemned the continuation of the standoff at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and said whatever happens in the church is an "awful crime against out holy sites.

"How could the world possibly be silent about this atrocious crime?" Arafat asked. "I don't care what would happen to me. What concerns me is what is happening at the church. This is a crime that cannot be forgiven."

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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Arafat was surrounded by bodyguards and aides as he walked out of the building housing his office. Many of the men had been with Arafat since the Israeli siege of the compound began March 29. Arafat himself had been kept in the compound since Dec. 2. Flashing a victory...
Arafat,Leaves,Compound
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2002-00-02
Thursday, 02 May 2002 12:00 AM
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