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Palestinians cheer death of Sharon, a bitter foe

January 11, 2014 • National News


A Palestinian distributes sweets to pedestrians on a street after hearing the death of the former Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on the news in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. Sharon was loathed by many Palestinians as a bitter enemy who did his utmost to sabotage their independence hopes — by leading military offensives against them in Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza and a settlement drive on the lands they want for a state. Sharon died Saturday, eight years after a debilitating stroke put him into a coma. He was 85. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Ariel Sharon’s death Saturday elicited a wide range of responses from Palestinians, but sadness wasn’t one: Some cheered and distributed sweets while others prayed for divine punishment for the former Israeli leader or recalled his central role in some of the bloodiest episodes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Palestinians widely loathed Sharon as the mastermind of crushing military offensives against them in Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza and as the architect of Israel’s biggest settlement campaign on lands they want for a state.

The intensity of those feelings appears to have faded a bit because Sharon left the public stage eight year ago, when he suffered a debilitating stroke and slipped into a coma. Sharon died Saturday afternoon at a Tel Aviv hospital.

The news traveled quickly in the Login to read more

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