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Brazilian president lays wreath at Arafat’s grave

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — Brazil’s president laid a wreath at Yasser Arafat’s grave after refusing to visit the grave of Theodor Herzl.

President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva met with Palestinian Authority leaders Wednesday in Ramallah.

"I dream of an independent and free Palestine living in peace in the Middle East," Silva said while in the West Bank. "I believe the Palestinians and Israelis are going to share the land of their forefathers."

Israel had criticized Lula’s plan to visit the grave of the PLO’s Arafat prior to the visit. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman boycotted Lula’s address to the Knesset Monday afternoon to protest his refusal to visit the grave of Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism.

Lula said prior to his trip to Israel and the Palestinian Authority this week that other countries, like Brazil, should help mediate between Israel and the Palestinians.
 

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