Hamas Prohibits Public Commemoration of Yasser Arafat In Gaza
Friday November 09, 2012 09:00 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies
The Hamas-led government in the Gaza Strip, informed senior Fateh leaders in the coastal enclave that public commemorations and activities marking the eighth anniversary of the death of Fateh leader, and late Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat, will be prohibited.
Yasser Arafat - alwafd.org
Fateh sources in Gaza reported that the Hamas-run security forces detained member of the Higher Leadership Committee of the Fateh movement, Jamal Obeid, for several hours, and arrested several Fateh leaders, the Palestine News Network (PNN) reported.
PNN added that Obeid was called in for interrogation, on Thursday evening, before he headed to the Internal Security Forces headquarters in northern Gaza, where he was kept for several hours before he was released.
Security personnel in Gaza informed him that, similar to previous years, Fateh movement will not be allowed to hold a public commemoration for Arafat in Gaza.
It is worth mentioning that, last Sunday, Hamas prevented Obeid from leaving the coastal region without informing him of the reasons behind this decision.
Hamas has been preventing the Fateh movement from conducting public ceremonies commemorating Arafat since 2007 after gunmen and security personnel of the two movements were engaged in bloody gun battles in the coastal region, before a large number of Fateh leaders left Gaza.
Despite repeated attempts to achieve reconciliation, and the signing of the National Unity Document that was drafted by Palestinian leaders from different factions, including Fateh and Hamas, imprisoned by Israel, the two movements have never achieved full reconciliation; the Gaza Strip remains under the “control” of the Hamas-led security forces and police, while P.A. “controlled” areas in the West Bank are under security and police control, led by the Fateh movement.
Yasser Arafat died on November 11, 2004, in a French hospital where he was airlifted after being besieged by the Israeli army, in his headquarters in Ramallah, until he fell terminally ill likely due to poisoning by collaborators with Israel.
It is worth mentioning that a team of Swiss forensic experts will be exhuming the remains of Arafat on November 26 to conduct several tests in an attempt determine the cause of death.
This decision was made following an investigative report by al-Jazeera correspondent, Clay Swisher, that brought to light evidence that the late president was poisoned using the radioactive polonium-210 isotope.
The investigation, sanctioned by Arafat’s widow, Suha, found trace amounts of the substance on Arafat's clothing when the items were tested by the Swiss laboratory.
The Swiss team, one of two groups set to conduct parallel probes into Arafat's 2004 death, spent an hour inspecting the tomb, located in a mausoleum outside Palestinian government headquarters in Ramallah. A Western diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.