Stolen Arafat uniform sold for NIS 200
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
A military outfit belonging to former Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat has been sold in the open market in Gaza City for NIS 200, Fatah officials in Ramallah said Wednesday.
The uniform was stolen from Arafat's residence immediately after Hamas took full control over the Gaza Strip two months ago. Hundreds of Palestinians, including Hamas activists, looted the house in Gaza City and stole most of its contents.
A Fatah spokesman said the looters also stole Arafat's Nobel Peace Prize Award and most of his personal belongings. Hamas denied that its men were involved in the looting, saying it was making efforts to restore the stolen items.
"We have learned that one of Arafat's military uniforms has been sold by Hamas activists for NIS 200," said a Fatah official. "They sold the uniform on the streets of Gaza City. This is outrageous and degrading." He accused Hamas of looting the homes of several Fatah leaders over the past two months. They include Nabil Shaath, Muhammed Dahlan and Intisar al-Wazir [Um Jihad].
The London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper revealed Wednesday that some Palestinians were also trying to lay their hands on Arafat's private archive in his former headquarters in Tunisia. The paper said that Tunisian authorities and PLO security officers have been stationed outside the headquarters to foil any attempt to infiltrate the compound.
Senior Palestinian officials said Arafat's headquarters in Tunisia contain "treasures" of information, including his correspondence with world leaders over a period of 40 years.
After Arafat's death in 2004, the Tunisian government closed down the offices and declared them the "property of the entire Palestinian people."
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas tried several times since then to lay his hands on the archive's documents, but was turned down by the Tunisian government, the officials said. The PLO officials also named Ramzi Khoury, a former Arafat aide, as one of those who have been trying to gain access to the headquarters.