A decade after Arafat’s death, Palestinians reflect on the leadership that followed him

A decade after Arafat’s death, Palestinians reflect on the leadership that followed him

November 11, 2014
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Palestinians hang posters depicting late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in the West Bank city of Nablus, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012. Palestinian authorities on Tuesday opened Yasser Arafat's grave and foreign experts took samples from his remains as part of a long-shot attempt — eight years after the iconic leader's mysterious death — to determine whether he was poisoned, as relatives and some political successors have claimed. Arabic on the posters are a quote from Arafat which reads, "more eloquent than words, and more comprehensive than a phrase." (AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)

When Yasser Arafat died, 10 years ago today, he was the president of the Palestinian Authority, an institution that had already existed for five years longer than intended — and that still exists today.

While hardly the legacy with which he is most readily identified, the Palestinian Authority is perhaps the product of Arafat’s leadership that has the most ongoing impact on the lives of Palestinians today.

The PA, as it is commonly known, was originally intended as a five-year interim body to govern the Palestinian people while their final status was negotiated in accordance with the 1994 Oslo Accords, which Arafat signed. The accords, which marked Palestinian recognition of the Israeli state and were supposed to set the stage for Palestinian self-determination, launched a peace process both parties involved have since abandoned.

[keep reading at VICE News]

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