Neturei Karta Observe Arafat’s Yahrtzeit in Ramallah

On Sunday, representatives of Neturei Karta participated in the annual memorial service in Ramallah marking the day of the passing of PLO Chairman Yassir Arafat. They stood out in the crowd in their black clothes, each wearing identification tags over a background of a Palestinian flag.

During his speech at the gathering, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas restated his intention of petitioning the United Nation’s general assembly this month to grant the Palestinian Authority the status of an observer state.

Abbas said he is determined to carry out his plan, in spite of pressure and threats from the United States and Israel.

“We will make our request as early as this month, and, within a day or two, the Arab League will let us know exactly on which date this month to do it,” Abbas declared, adding: “Even though they don’t want us to petition the UN. We will not deny the legitimacy of Israel and we do not wish to deny it, but we do want to undermine the legitimacy of the settlements.”

Abbas also referred to the circumstances surrounding Arafat’s death eight years ago and said that Russian experts requested the Palestinian Authority to join the French and Swiss team which will investigate the “strange” death, as he put it.