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04 November 2004

Yasser Arafat - Palestine on the road to change...

Palestinians prepare to grieve
Sophie Claudet | Ramallah, West Bank

As Yasser Arafat lay brain dead in a Paris hospital on Thursday, Palestinians in the town that he left less than a week ago for life-saving treatment were already preparing to mourn their veteran leader. Flags were flying half-mast over Arafat's headquarters compound in the West Bank town of Ramallah in tribute to the United Arab Emirates' founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan, who died earlier this week. After their iftah meal, which marks the end of fasting during Ramadan, residents of Ramallah were glued to their television sets for the latest news from Paris on their 75-year-old leader. "I can't bear the thought he will die for good. He's our national leader, the one and only," said 33-year-old Mohammed Ribhi as his eyes filled with tears.

But Palestinian officials took to the airwaves to insist that talk of Arafat's death had been grossly exaggerated.


Yasser Arafat is dead or dying. There are a number of confused reports but it seems like Arafat is not going to make it. Will this be the event that brings new hope for a solution in this ravaged part of the world?

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