Friday, November 12, 2004

In the morning, a closed military memorial service for Arafat is held on a military base outside Cairo. The Palestinian leadership, Arafat’s family, Egyptian envoy Omar Sulayman then escort Arafat’s body by helicopter to Ramallah, where 10,000s of grieving Palestinians overrun the Muqata in an attempt to observe his sunset funeral. Israel executes Operation New Leaf–the Day After to step up Israeli security but ensure that “Palestinians’ dignity is preserved” for3days of mourning: declares a state of emergency, seals the occupied territories until 11/16, pulls out of all West Bank population centers, reinforces the troop presence surrounding Ramallah and leading to Jerusalem, facilitates West Bank Palestinians’ access to Ramallah for the funeral, allows PA security officers to carry weapons for the 3-day mourning period in order to maintain crowd control. The only reported violence of the day is in Rafah, where the IDF fires on, shells residential areas. Meanwhile, massive symbolic funerals are held in Gaza, with (as in the West Bank) the full participation of all political groups, including Hamas. (BBC, CNN, WT 11/12; ATL, DS, Interfax, IRNA, ITAR-TASS, JAZ, JT, MENA, MNR, al-Ra’i, VOI, VOP 11/12 in WNC 11/16; NYT, WP, WT 11/13; HA, MM, PR 11/15; DS 11/17; PCHR 11/18)