Yasser Arafat’s new mausoleum was unveiled.
The $2 million edifice, which includes a marble mosque, minaret and ornamental pool, was inaugurated Saturday in the West Bank city of Ramallah. It covers the converted parking lot where Arafat was laid to rest in 2004 after Israel refused the Palestinians permission to bury him in Jerusalem.
Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat’s successor as Palestinian Authority president, vowed to realize the late leader’s dream of independence.
“We will continue on the path to set up the independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, God willing,” Abbas said at the unveiling ceremony.
Sunday is the third anniversary of Arafat’s death in a French hospital. Though he was embraced internationally after signing 1993 peace accords with Israel, his orchestration of Palestinian violence that erupted in 2000 again made him a pariah.