Palestinians denounce Hamas decision banning Arafat memorial event

RAMALLAH, Palestinian officials denounced today a decision by Hamas movement, the de facto power in Gaza, banning any activity in the coastal enclave marking the death anniversary of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Fatah Deputy Chairman Mahmoud Aloul told Voice of Palestine radio that the Hamas act was a depressing message and unbelievable.

He said that while Fatah was feeling optimistic regarding holding elections, Hamas took an unintelligent and an unexpected act by preventing an event in Arafat’s memory.

Member of the politburo of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Mariam Abu Daqqa, told Voice of Palestine radio that Arafat was a national figure and no one has the right to prevent an event in his memory.

Similar condemnation came from the Palestinian People’s Party, whose deputy secretary general, Nafez Ghuneim, told Voice of Palestine that Hamas should have allowed this event if its intentions to accept elections is genuine.

Arafat died on November 11, 2004 after he was flown to a hospital in Paris following serious deterioration in his health in light of Israel’s long siege of his Ramallah headquarters. Some believe he was poisoned.

Source: Palestinian News and Info Agency