Thousands of Palestinians Mark 36th Anniversary of Fateh\'s First Armed Attacks on Israel
Thousands of Palestinians held demonstrations in the West Bank Monday to mark the 36th anniversary of the start of armed attacks against Israel by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's faction, Fateh.
Witnesses said some 50,000 people also followed a funeral procession for a Fateh activist killed in the northern West Bank town of Tulkarem on Sunday in an attack Palestinians said was an Israeli assassination.
Dozens of gunmen also attended the funeral in Tulkarem, including a group of 20 wearing clothing labeled: "the Brigade of the Martyr Dr. Thabet Thabet," the name of the killed Fateh activist.
A statement from Fatah warned Israel that it would take revenge.
"The response to the crime of assassinating martyr Thabet Thabet will not go without a disastrous response and a price from Fateh and its fighters," it said.
"We warn the terrorist Israeli government and its brutal occupying army against continuing with their crimes."
Some 3,000 Fateh supporters also paraded through the northern West Bank town of Nablus, including some 50 men -- most wearing masks -- carrying assault rifles.
The demonstrators there burned an Israeli flag and fired their guns in the air to mark the anniversary of the "Palestinian Revolution."
In the West Bank town of Ramallah, some 2,500 people marched through the streets, some calling for revenge for the death of Tahrir Rizek, 22, who was killed overnight in a drive-by shooting blamed on Jewish settlers near Ramallah.
On January 1, 1965, Arafat's Fateh faction announced that its tiny armed wing, known then as al-Assifa -- the thunderstorm -- had begun armed attacks against Israel.
During the first few days of 1965, al-Assifa claimed responsibility for numerous anti-Israeli attacks, often targeting symbolic sites of national interest such as water pipelines.
Marches in the Gaza Strip to mark the Fateh anniversary were held on Sunday evening -- NABLUS, West Bank (AFP)
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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