- Title: GAZA/WEST BANK: Palestinians mourn executed Saddam Hussein
- Date: 31st December 2006
- Summary: (MER1) BEIT FURIK, WEST BANK (DECEMBER 31, 2006) (REUTERS) SEVERAL HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE CARRYING A MOCK COFFIN FOR THE FORMER IRAQI LEADER SADDAM HUSSEIN VARIOUS OF PEOPLE MARCHING WITH COFFIN THROUGH STREETS VARIOUS OF PEOPLE CARRYING COFFIN THROUGH STREETS CLOSE OF COFFIN COVERED WITH PORTRAITS OF HUSSEIN SEVERAL HUNDREDS CHANTING, WAVING IRAQI FLAGS MORE OF MOCK FUNERAL PROCESSION
- Embargoed: 15th January 2007 10:10
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA78LVQCLQRBNI5VI8HL2NY22OC
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: As Saddam Hussein's enemies rejoiced, news of the former Iraqi President's death shocked Palestinians, many of whom had seen him as an Arab hero for his missile attacks on Israel during the 1991 Gulf War that ended Iraq's occupation of Kuwait.
In the Gaza Strip, the al-Araj family was deeply upset on Sunday (December 31) as they watched the images of the former Iraqi leader dropping through the trap to his death on the holiest day of the Muslim year.
"Saddam Hussein is good and does not deserve to go to hell, he will go to heaven with all the martyrs. He has the support of all the martyrs and pilgrims, and all the people and all of Palestine. May God bless him and take revenge on America and break America," said Um Faez al-Araj, whose received money from the former Iraqi regime, after her son carried out an attack against Israel during the Palestinian uprising, or intifada, which began in 2000.
According to a local Palestinian pro-Iraq group, the Palestinian Arab Liberation Front (PALF), many Palestinian families whose sons were involved in the uprising had each received up to 25,000 U.S. Dollars from the former Iraqi regime.
The PALF estimated that Iraq had paid out 35 million U.S. Dollars to Palestinian families since the current uprising began in September 2000.
Several hundred Palestinians marched through the West Bank village of Beit Furik near Nablus in a show of support for the executed former Iraqi leader as he was being buried in his home village in northern Iraq. Chanting and waving Iraqi flags, the villagers of Beit Furik carried a mock coffin covered with portraits of the leader.
In the northern West Bank city of Jenin, several thousands also attended a mock funeral in memory of the leader who was sentenced to death for crimes against humanity.
Saddam's avowed support for the Palestinians, and his missile attacks on Israel during the Gulf War won him wide backing amongst Palestinians throughout the Middle East, particularly those living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza.
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