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Palestine marks 47th Martyrs' Day

Jan. 7, 2012 1:24 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 8, 2012 1:13 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestine on Saturday marked the 47th Martyrs' Day, a national day declared by late President Yasser Arafat in 1965.

Muhammad Nahhal, an official in a Gaza-based association to help martyrs' families, says the day is an occasion to remember late leaders including Arafat, Hamas founder Ahmad Yassin, PFLP Secretary-General Abu Ali Mustafa and Fathi Shiqaqi, the founder of Islamic Jihad in Palestine.

"Speaking about martyrs means speaking about Palestinian identity, Jerusalem, the Palestinian national project and about the most noble people who lit our path to freedom," Nahhal said.

Arafat declared the national day after Ahmed Mousa was killed in 1965 in an operation in Eilaboun, a Christian village in the Galilee. The mission was Fatah's first military operation in Palestine, launched days after the movement was founded.

In October 1948, Palestinians were massacred in Eilaboun when Israeli forces raided the village during fighting to create the state of Israel.
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