Palestinians Torch Israeli, US Flags to Mark Symbolic Independence Day
Palestinian refugees torched Israeli, US flags in Sidon Wednesday to mark the 12th anniversary of the Palestinians' symbolic declaration of independence.
Some 200 refugees marched though the Ain al-Helweh camp, at the outskirts of this southern port city, toward the headquarters of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fateh movement, carrying Palestinian flags.
A group of youths burned US and Israeli flags in front of the Fateh headquarters.
Khaled Aref, a Fateh senior official in Sidon, said the Intifada uprising against Israel, which has left more than 200 people dead since it began on September 28, "will continue until the end of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory and until the Jewish settlers are expelled from our lands."
"The Intifada will continue until the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem for a capital and until Palestinian refugees return home," said Aref.
In the nearby Mieh Mieh camp, about 400 student refugees aged between five and 16 roamed the streets, chanting "Jerusalem is ours," before burning the Israeli and US flags.
Arafat made a symbolic declaration of independence in 1988 while in exile in Algiers at the height of the last Intifada that raged for seven years until the 1993 Oslo peace accords, but since then the Palestinians have twice put off statehood declarations – SIDON (AFP)
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