Palestinians commemorate late icon Yasser Arafat

RAMALLAH, Palestine

Hundreds of Palestinians on Thursday marked the 18th anniversary of the death of iconic leader Yasser Arafat.

Participants waved pictures of Arafat as they marched towards his shrine in his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, according to an Anadolu Agency reporter.

"Arafat was an exceptional leader and a symbol for Palestinian unity," Mahmoud al-Aloul, the deputy leader of the Fatah movement, told the rally.

Schools across the West Bank dedicated their first class to highlighting the role played by Arafat in the Palestinian struggle against the decades-long Israeli occupation.

On Nov. 11, 2004, after effectively being confined to his compound in Ramallah for more than two years by the Israeli army, Arafat fell into a coma and died at the age of 75.

Palestinians blame Israel for killing Arafat by poisoning him. The cause of his death has been a subject of speculation ever since.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

Source: Anadolu Agency