Palestinians remember Arafat

Palestinians remember Arafat

Thousands of Palestinians gathered Wednesday to mark five years since the death of their iconic leader Yasser Arafat, with president Mahmud Abbas due to address the West Bank rally, AFP reported.

The anniversary of Arafat's death finds Palestinians more divided than ever and his successor Abbas pondering resignation because of stalled US-led peace efforts that have failed to bring about an independent Palestinian state.

A crowd waving Palestinian flags and banners of Abbas's Fatah party gathered in the West Bank's political capital of Ramallah to honour the man who catapulted the Palestinians' struggle onto the world stage and led them through nearly four decades of armed struggle and sputtering peace talks.

Abbas was to address the crowd amid grim predictions by his aides that he may resign as president, perhaps leading to the collapse of the Palestinian Authority established by Arafat during the Oslo peace process in the 1990s.

"The moment of truth has come and we have to be frank with the Palestinian people that we have not been able to reach a two-state solution through 18 years of negotiation," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP.

"We have become convinced that Israel does not want a Palestinian state on lands it occupied in 1967," he said, referring to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank including east Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the Six Day War.

Abbas resigning would throw the divided Palestinians into new legal and political limbo.

According to Palestinian Basic Law, to become effective Abbas's resignation has to be approved by two thirds of the Palestinian parliament. But the chamber has not convened since 2006 and it is unclear whether it would do so if he quits.

If the resignation is approved, the speaker of parliament, Aziz Dweik of the rival Islamist Hamas movement, would assume the presidency until new elections are held within 60 days.

But aides have indicated in recent days that if Abbas steps down the entire Palestinian Authority could collapse, which would spell the end of the already defunct Oslo process and leave nearly four million Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank once again dependent on Israel for basic services.

The Palestinians have said they will not resume peace talks with Israel without a complete freeze of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem, a demand initially backed by Washington.

But Israel's hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to freeze settlements, and in recent weeks Washington has backed down, calling on both sides to return to the negotiating table without preconditions.

Erakat said the two-state solution would only be possible at this point if there were "unprecedented international movement" towards pressuring Israel because "the situation has reached the point of no return."

The presence of nearly a half million Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank including east Jerusalem has long been seen by the Palestinians as a major obstacle to the establishment of a viable independent state.

Despite the fact that the international community, including the United States, views all settlements as illegal, the number of settlers has more than doubled since the start of the Oslo process in 1993.

Arafat, who died aged 75 in a French hospital on November 11, 2004, remains a beloved symbol of unity and resistance to Israel for the Palestinians, who have been riven by factional fighting in recent years.

Big share of Azerbaijan's GDP in Q1 2021 accounts for industrial sector
Big share of Azerbaijan's GDP in Q1 2021 accounts for industrial sector
Georgia, Turkey have significant prospects for co-op in agriculture, forestry
Georgia, Turkey have significant prospects for co-op in agriculture, forestry
Georgian 'Mambo Frost' company exports its products to Azerbaijan
Georgian 'Mambo Frost' company exports its products to Azerbaijan
Loading Bars
Latest
Global COVID-19 infection rate approaching highest: WHO
Portugal resumes flights to Brazil, Britain
Turkey reports over 63,000 daily COVID-19 cases
EU eyes to provide grants to Georgian non-profit organizations
Israel reports 41 new COVID-19 cases, 836,740 in total
Biden signs order keeping Trump-era refugee cap at 15,000
EU-UK trade plunges after Brexit: Eurostat
UK records another 2,596 coronavirus cases, 34 deaths
UN Security Council approves ceasefire monitors for Libya
North Macedonia vaccinates some 35,000 citizens
Raul Castro resigning from Cuba’s Communist Party
Azerbaijani IT company working on creating new network, server infrastructures
Georgian Economy Ministry to form expert council on Namakhvani HPP
Relations between Russia, Azerbaijan attain degree of strategic alliance - Federation Council Chair of Russian Federal Assembly
Turkish engineers develop fiber that kills coronavirus in minutes
Uzbekistan’s gold and foreign exchange reserves drop to $32.6 billion
Iran’s petrochemical output to reach $40b: Oil Minister
Relations within CIS IA to make comprehensive partnership ties more profound among member states - Chair of Azerbaijani Parliament (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani gymnasts win set of awards at Trampoline Hopes Cup tournament
Russia to permanently ban entry for eight US officials
Liabilities of Azerbaijan's Kapital Bank increase in 1Q2021
Azerbaijan's Kapital Bank completes 1Q2021 with profit
Azerbaijan’s production of oil and gas condensate down
Big share of Azerbaijan's GDP in Q1 2021 accounts for industrial sector
Azerbaijan announces date of next coupon payments on SOCAR bonds
Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan increase trade turnover
Azerbaijani insurance company to increase volume of payouts
Georgia, Turkey have significant prospects for co-op in agriculture, forestry
Georgian 'Mambo Frost' company exports its products to Azerbaijan
Fighter aircraft crashes in Kazakhstan
Russia adds 8,995 COVID-19 cases
Head of EU Delegation to Azerbaijan summoned to Azerbaijani MFA
Georgian budget to save funds thanks to low-interest rate on new Eurobonds
Azerbaijan discloses number of COVID-19 vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 2,163 more COVID-19 cases, 2,251 recoveries
Frequency of regular flights between Georgia and Israel increases
Azerbaijani president, first lady sign obituary on famous film director’s death
Georgia not to revise 2021 budget
Volume of cargo exported by Azerbaijan via sea in 2021 disclosed
Raisina dialogue: Indo-Pacific epicentre of strategic competition, says Australia PM
Azerbaijan records sharp increase in cargo movement by air
Remittance inflows from Azerbaijan to Georgia show growth
Decrease in apartment prices in Georgia not expected - analyst
US investors aim to finance Georgian startups
Azerbaijan expanding network of seismic stations (PHOTO)
Turkmenistan prioritizes promotion of domestic goods to world markets
Kazakhstan boosts trade with Tajikistan despite COVID-19
Azerbaijan shows footage from Memer village of Gubadli district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Nominal income of Azerbaijani population drops for Q12021
Foreigners show interest in making investments in Georgia
Azerbaijan's Azertutun company to be privatized - decree
Kazakhstan to amend rules for use of unmanned aircraft systems
Dozens of vehicles to be put up for state property auction in Azerbaijan
Next volume of ADA University’s Baku Dialogues Journal published
FAO working on approving Country Program Framing with Turkmenistan
U.S. housing starts increase more than expected in March
Photo capturing reaction to relative's death in Armenian attack on Azerbaijani Ganja named ‘Media Photo of Year’ in Turkey
Nokia expanding its activities in Georgia
SIEMENS AG modernizing thermal power plants in Uzbekistan’s Tashkent
Georgia shares data on dried fruit exports
Uzbekneftegaz JSC implementing modernization of unit at Uzbekistan's Shurtan Headings
Azerbaijan sees increase in inflation rate for Q12021
Turkmenistan leads in aviation oil exports to Georgia
Volume of Azerbaijan's 1Q2021 railway cargo traffic revealed
Russia's Yandex to launch e-grocery delivery in Paris then London
Kansas City revenue falls 3.5% as COVID-19 hits volumes
India To Spend $200 Million In Next 5-7 Years To Promote Hydrogen Use
Georgian Railway plans to issue Eurobonds in June 2021
Turkmenistan sees increase in number of registered business entities
Russian Hevel Energy Group commissions solar plant in Kazakhstan
UK PM Boris Johnson To Finalise "Roadmap 2030" With India: High Commission
India, France sign agreement for cooperation on Gaganyaan mission
Amazon announces $250 million fund for small, medium businesses in India
Sputnik V covid vaccine deliveries to India to begin this month
Anglo Asian Mining lowers gold output in Azerbaijan
International airport being built in Uzbekistan's Samarkand
Iran top OPEC oil producer for March 2021
Total assets of Azerbaijan's Kapital Bank increase
Japan provides loan to Uzbekistan within socio-economic dev't
Iran expects increase in production
Azerbaijan restoring roads in Tartar damaged during Second Karabakh War (PHOTO)
Memorandum of Understanding on co-op between Azerbaijan and OIC in field of statistics approved
COVID-19 affects trade turnover between Switzerland, Azerbaijan - ambassador
President of Afghanistan holds meeting with Nizami Ganjavi International Center (PHOTO)
Volume of natural gas industrial treatment at Turkmenistan’s Galkynysh field revealed
Iran has to take advantage of regional markets - Chamber of Commerce
Russia discloses volume of Sputnik V vaccine to be supplied to Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan shares data on cancelled tender, quotation poll results
Iran, Qatar may connect their power networks
Azerbaijan reveals 2M2021 data on cargo movement via TRACECA
Georgia sees increase in production of nuts and grapes
Meetings held in Azerbaijan with representatives of state bodies to switch to G-Cloud
Azerbaijan Airlines’ Supervisory Board holds first meeting (PHOTO)
China to invest in development of Iranian ports
Production of wheat and potato in Georgia increases
Switzerland sees potential in strengthening co-op with Azerbaijan in energy field
Uzbekistan interested in import of livestock from Kyrgyz Republic
Turkmenistan receives new industrial oil inflow
Uzbekistan discloses processing capacity of sunflower seeds by 2022
Azerbaijan talks reconstruction of several fish farms
All news