Egypt urges Palestinian unity on Arafat anniversary

Egypt urges Palestinian unity on Arafat anniversary

CAIRO (Rahnuma): Egypt’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday called on the Palestinians to close their ranks on the 14th anniversary of iconic leader Yasser Arafat’s demise.

“Salute to the symbol of Palestinian resistance…to the soul of leader Yasser Arafat,” the ministry said on Twitter.

The ministry called on the Palestinians to cement their ranks “on the path of restoring their legitimate rights and achieve peace”.

Egypt has been leading efforts to heal a decade-long rift between rival Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah and restart peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel, which collapsed in 2014.

The West Bank and the Gaza Strip have remained politically and administratively divided since 2007, when Hamas wrested control of the strip from Fatah following several days of street fighting.

Hamas’s capture of Gaza in 2007 ended an earlier — if short-lived — unity government that was established after Hamas swept 2006 Palestinian legislative polls.

On Nov. 11, 2004, Arafat died in France — under highly suspicious circumstances — at the age of 75. Until now, doctors have been unable to determine the exact cause of his death.

Palestinians accuse Israel of poisoning Arafat, a claim denied by Tel Aviv.

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