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Last Updated: Friday, 12 November, 2004, 12:00 GMT
Arafat death: Palestinians react
Palestinian security man cries on hearing of Yasser Arafat's death in Gaza City
A Palestinian security member in Gaza City cries on hearing of Arafat's death

Palestinians have reacted to the news of Yasser Arafat's death with deep emotion, which is clearly reflected in the emails we have received by the BBC News website and BBCArabic.com.

This is a selection of comments from Palestinians on the death of their leader and the future that lies ahead.

Yasser Arafat was the embodiment of the Palestinian struggle. Abu Ammar incarnated our dignity and our honour and founded the principles of our struggle. A cause established by Abu Ammar will indeed outlive him.
Muhammad Ebeid, Gaza Strip

Arafat, despite claims of corruption and impossible stubbornness, was a good leader
Joseph A Jacir, Palestinian living in Rochester, USA

I really do feel sad for losing our best leader. I am really proud of everything he did for us as Palestinians and also for the Arab world. I ask God to accept him in heaven.
Tawfiq Ghanem, Palestinian in the USA

Shame on those who dare attacking Arafat. He has much more integrity than many of the Arab leaders and was a true leader and father to all of us.
Amani, Palestinian territories

Arafat left us after a lifetime of struggle dedicated to his ultimate dream of creating a Palestinian state. The transition of power is going unexpectedly smoothly so far, which is something we should be proud of as Palestinians. It was expected that internal fighting between rival factions would follow his death, which hasn't happened so far and is not expected in the near future. One question remains - how is Israel going to deal with the successors of President Arafat?
Ali al-Batta, Khan Younis, Palestinian territories

Now that Arafat is dead, I wonder what can Sharon say about the stalemate of the peace negotiations.
Jehad Abu Shabab, Palestinian in Germany

Not all the mourning is sincere. Lots of young Arabs like myself saw Arafat as corrupt
Tarik, Palestinian territories
We will carry on our fight for a just peace and freedom, some say he is a terrorist, some say he is great, to me now he is free, something we are all fighting to achieve.
Ahmad, Palestinian territories

May God have mercy on his soul. Arafat, in my opinion, he was in the beginning an inspirational leader to Palestinians in his early years, to becoming an ineffective actual leader with political and financial aims (like many other leaders). I wish he had stepped down years ago so that other Palestinians could have been given a chance to deliver on promises of peace.
Dana, Palestinian in the US

I am very sad right now. I can't find the right word to describe my feelings, I just want to say that Arafat was Palestine. May his soul rest in peace. Israel now has no excuses but to grant Palestine independence and get off stolen territory.
Nidal Arif, Palestinian territories

Not all the mourning is sincere. Lots of young Arabs like myself saw Arafat as corrupt; a man with the blood of hundreds if not thousands of innocent people on his hands. Maybe now there will be a better chance of peace and dialogue.
Tarik, Palestinian territories

I am 14 and during school I heard what happened. I was sad when I heard the news. He had to go and he knew it was his time. He was so good to Palestinians and he will always be remembered in our hearts. Palestine was going in the right direction with him.
Nour, Detroit, Michigan, USA

Arafat, despite claims of corruption and impossible stubbornness, was a good leader. With Arafat's strength, we knew that we would not be sold out by a weak puppet leader imposed by US and Israeli interests. Now I am not so sure. I am optimistic for a peace in the future, but less optimistic that it will be a just one.
Joseph A Jacir, Palestinian living in Rochester, USA

Without our leader we have nothing, the Israelis will destroy us while we are weak
Ali, West Bank
Arafat did more than anyone for the Palestinian struggle. His opponents have to acknowledge the Palestinians and their cause even more now. He is a legend and symbol of the 20th Century and an icon for the Palestinian people.
Nick G, Ramallah, Palestinian territories

Although I did disagree with some decisions he took, I can't help but respect him and feel sad about his absence.
Rafika, Palestinian territories

As a Christian Palestinian, I pray that this will be a new start for the Palestinian People to take advantage of peace. I call on Israel to acknowledge human dignity and existence and allow them hope and a homeland.
Afaf Musallam, Bedford, UK

Rest in peace Yasser Arafat. Without our leader we have nothing, the Israelis will destroy us while we are weak. Is there someone out there that can provide us peace and our own nation?
Ali, West Bank

Arafat's death is a big loss for the Palestinian people, but also I think a bigger loss for Israeli security. It will also take many years for the new Palestinian leadership to have the Palestinian people trust them.
Riza, Gaza

Continuing radio coverage on Yasser Arafat's death


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