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Thousands mark Arafat's death across the West Bank

Nov. 11, 2013 3:32 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 13, 2013 11:13 A.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Thousands of people took to the streets across the West Bank on Monday to mark the 9th anniversary of Yasser Arafat's death.

Large rallies were held in Jenin, Qalqiliya and Ramallah and other West Bank cities to commemorate the late president's death in 2004, with crowds of people waving Palestinian flags and carrying portraits of Arafat.

In Hebron, at least three people were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets after clashes broke out during a commemoration march.

Young men began throwing rocks at an Israeli military base at the entrance to Shuhada street in the center of Hebron, with soldiers firing tear gas canisters and rubber bullets.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that "during the day, small-scale, violent and illegal riots took place" throughout the West Bank, "involving rocks hurled at soldiers."

"All of the incidents were contained by "riot dispersal means," she added.

On Sunday, President Mahmoud Abbas said that the PA was determined to uncover the truth of how Arafat died, regardless of the consequences.

"I am confident that the investigations committee will reach the truth that will be publicized to our people," Abbas said in a recorded speech to coincide with a ceremony marking the 9th anniversary of Arafat's death.

On Thursday, Palestinian officials demanded a global probe into the "killing" of Arafat, after it emerged that Swiss forensic tests showed he probably died from polonium poisoning.

A day earlier, Al-Jazeera published a report by Swiss scientists that said the results of tests on Arafat's remains "moderately support the proposition that the death was the consequence of poisoning with polonium-210".

Arafat died in France on Nov. 11, 2004 at the age of 75, but doctors were unable to specify the cause of death. No autopsy was carried out at the time, in line with his widow Suha's request.

AFP contributed to this report
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