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January 11, 2014 6:41 pm

Senior Fatah Official Says Ariel Sharon Responsible for ‘Murder’ of Arafat

avatar by Gidon Ben-Zvi

President George W. Bush of United States (center) discusses the Middle East peace process with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel (left) and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas in Aqaba, Jordan, 2003.

Jibril Rajoub, a leading voice within the Palestinian Fatah Party, responded to the death Saturday of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon by saying that he welcomed the one-time premier’s demise, according to Israel’s Channel 10.

In an interview with the Saudi Arabian-based Al Arabiya News on Saturday, Rajoub referred to Sharon as, “A criminal who was behind the assassination of [former Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and first President of the Palestinian Authority] Arafat…We hoped to see him [Sharon] tried as a war criminal in the International Criminal Court.”

Rajoub is a member of the same Palestinian-Arab political party as current Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Meanwhile in Gaza, senior Hamas official Khalil al-Haiih had this to say about Israel’s 11th Prime Minister: “Sharon was a man who killed and destroyed, inflicting great suffering upon generations of Palestinians,” Channel 10 reported. Al-Haiih went on to note that, “After eight years Sharon has gone to that place where all tryrants and criminals whose hands are covered in Palestinian blood go.”

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In 2005, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon embarked on a landmark withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Shortly after Israel unilaterally disengaged, Hamas took credit for Israel’s retreat, claiming that its policy of armed resistance and attacks on Israeli civilians had led to the withdrawal.

Ariel Sharon passed away at the age of 85 at the Sheba Medical Center on Saturday afternoon, after being in a coma since January 2006.

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