Arafat Pays Tribute to Victims of 1985 Israeli Raids in Tunisia
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat paid tribute in Tunisia on Sunday to victims of Israeli air raids in 1985 on a suburb south of the capital.
Arafat, who arrived here late Saturday for discussions with Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on a US-sponsored peace plan, on Sunday visited the Martyrs Cemetery near Hamman Chott where his headquarters in exile was located 15 years ago.
In 1985, Israeli raids on Arafat's headquarters in Hamman Chott left an estimated 200 Palestinians and Tunisians dead and injured.
The dead are buried on a hill near the suburb where Salah Khalaf (Abou Iyad), an historical leader of Arafat's Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), was also laid to rest after his assassination in January 1991.
The PLO is still based in Tunis.
In October, after violence broke out between Palestinians and Israel on September 28, Tunisia severed relations with the Jewish state and accused it of using "excessive force" against Palestinians.
Arafat, who is due to have lunch with the Tunisian president on Sunday, will head back to Gaza City later in the day, Palestinian officials here said.
Tunisia on Thursday is expected to mediate a meeting of the Arab League committee, whose members will discuss the Palestinian situation.
Palestinian information minister Yasser Abed Rabbo, who is accompanying Arafat on his trip to Tunis, said earlier this week that the Palestinians could not accept the US plan aimed at forging a peace deal with Israel, saying it would endanger the future of Palestinian children and goals for a state -- TUNIS (AFP)
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