Palestinians remember Arafat

2009-11-11 16:24
Ramallah - Tens of thousands of Palestinians have crowded around the grave of the late Yasser Arafat to mark the fifth anniversary of the iconic leader's death.

Arafat's successor, President Mahmoud Abbas, used the occasion to repeat his refusal to return to talks with Israel until it stops building West Bank settlements. The crowd cheered as the embattled Abbas spoke.

Abbas has said he will not run for president in upcoming elections because of the lack of progress toward peace. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to resume talks, but has offered only a limited slowdown in settlement construction. The Palestinians say this is a sign of bad faith.

The rival Hamas movement, which controls the Gaza Strip, banned a similar commemoration there.

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