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Last Updated: Friday, 12 November, 2004, 14:58 GMT
Your reaction: Global round-up
The BBC News website and our language sites have received thousands of emails in reaction to the death of Yasser Arafat.

Below are a selection of them by region. They include comments from BBCArabic.com, BBCPersian.com, BBCUrdu.com, BBCRussian.com, and BBCMundo.com.

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Yasser Arafat is 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 his lifetime.
Muhammad Ebeid, Gaza Strip, Palestinian territories

For more than four decades, he held his people together. Most of the time in their sadness, he represented their grief, sufferings and agony. Today they mourn his death and cry for he is with them no more. He was their leader. I being a non-Palestinian, am so saddened by his demise. May his soul rest in peace.
Dr Anjum, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

I am afraid that the Palestinian cause will lose much of its importance on the international arena after the death of Yasser Arafat. I think the voice of the Palestinians will grow weaker and their resolutions will have no effect now that he is dead.
Abdullah Mohammed Attas, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Whether we approve or disapprove of him, Arafat was the only leader that the Palestinian people have known, and despite his controversial personality, he managed to unite them around him. He was their symbol, and the various Palestinian factions often heeded his word. His departure from the scene is a temporary shock to the system but this will not last. The countries that neighbour Israel and even the USA will not allow a security vacuum to persist for long.
Suha Obaid, Jordan

Arafat was an obstacle to peace. He left his people without any power structures.
Loren, Tel Aviv, Israel

The time for those leaders who previously took up arms to fight for their cause and built up a charisma by doing so has come to an end. Arafat was never a skilled politician. He missed his only chance of negotiating peace for the Middle East during the Clinton era. I hope his death will bring about a fresh start for the Palestinians. I also hope that the Road Map will succeed. This way, tyrannical regimes in this region will not be able to use the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as an excuse for their goals.
Kaveh, Ardebil, Iran

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

In the wake of Arafat's death, the Palestinian Authority will inevitably crumble and the peace process will now be geared towards what is in the interest of the US and the Israelis and not the Palestinians.
Ali, Tehran, Iran

Arafat's old guard will most probably be pushed aside. Israel should help the new government of the Palestinian territories to clamp down on militants like Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Overall one can't expect a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the near future.
Alex, Israel

Mr Arafat's passing is a concern to all Muslims but I think now the intifada will take a different course and the Arab leaders will play a major role in the peace process.
Arash, Basht, Iran

If we take a look at Yasser Arafat's past deeds we see that his wrongdoings outweigh his services to the Palestinian people.
Shahab, Tehran, Iran


I hope my country tries at last to resolve the Palestinian problem. It is time to have a fair and balanced outcome.
Elio Bracho, Berkeley, USA

I believe Israel is too kind in allowing Arafat to be buried in Ramallah. We must now hope that the new Palestinian leadership realises that the road to peace is one of diplomacy and negotiations.
Miztle Balmaceda, Michigan, 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 USA

He was a national leader who devoted his entire life to the cause of the Palestinians. The media, particularly in the US gave him a bad name and presented him as a terrorist.
Ameen, USA

Yasser Arafat was the messiah of the Palestinians. I remember seeing him on television when he came to India to attend the funeral of Indira Gandhi. I am a fan of his since then.
Suresh, USA

Arafat fought a just war with unjust means. I consider him to be a terrorist.
Krishna Aggarwal, USA

I hope now that the Palestinian people will have a leader who will fight for peace without violence. May God forgive his soul. Jorge Cardenas, Bogota, Colombia

Arafat's death will put Palestinians and Israelis on the road to peace. I believe it is a grand opportunity for both to reach a peace accord, under UN supervision.
Oscar Castro Vega, San Jose, Costa Rica

I believe that his death will help to bring peace to that region. He never looked for peace although he could have achieved it. Other Palestinian terrorist groups will never accept peace, they lose their reason for existing if they do that.
Pablo, Montevideo, Uruguay

Arafat was a fighter for his people in the past but became an entrenched old man tied to his views and a barrier to the peace process. One hopes that the current Palestinian, Israeli and US leadership acknowledge realpolitik and come to the table to reach a settlement. The world recognises that the Palestinians are a part of the Middle East and deserve a place to live.
Lucy, Toronto, Canada

With Arafat's death, the main obstacle for peace in the Middle East is now gone.
Jesus Millan, Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela

Arafat died and left chaos, nothing that resembles a state. Nothing more than corruption, crimes and bad governance. Arafat died, too late.
Gabriel, Uruguay

As Arafat could not, perhaps now someone can take control of the Palestinian factions that have been undermining the peace process and allow both peoples, the Israelis and the Palestinians, to look forward to a more settled future.
Julian, Sao Paulo, Brazil


May Arafat rest in peace and the new leaders continue his work to build a Palestinian state. Sharon cannot any more use Arafat as an excuse to block peace talks.
Zemzem, Belgium

He was a man that lived and fought for his ideals. My grief goes to a people I love.
Eduardo Alcázar, London, UK

Hopefully now relations between the Palestinians and Israelis can move towards a greater peace.
Graeme Miles, Wloclawek, Poland

It's wrong to say the death of Arafat marks the end of the Palestinian cause, as if the Palestinians are incapable of furthering their rights without him. Their cause shouldn't be encapsulated in Yasser Arafat, no matter how crucial he was for that cause. I even think that his death is somehow beneficial to the Palestinians who suffered recently from a lack of openness and democracy.
Waleed al hayali, Denmark

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

His death is a good omen for ending the half century of conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and a turning point in the Middle East peace process.
Hossein, Netherlands

Arafat has been the main obstacle to the Middle East peace process. His departure from the political scene (which is a blessing for the Palestinians and the entire region) will probably give way to moderates such as Mahmoud Abbas and or Ahmad Quray to take power. Meanwhile Bush in his second term will put more pressure on the Israelis and we will soon have peace in the region.
Dariush, Berlin, Germany

You don't have to guess who will replace Arafat. As the Palestinian people live in a state of war with Israel, it will be a leader of one of the armed factions and not a dove of peace. The new leader will keep hold of power and the treasury of the PA. Bitter opposition in the Middle East will only increase.
Alexey, Russia

His time is gone. He was a unique man and there are no more leaders like him left. Except for Fidel Castro, of course.
Timur, St Petersburg, Russia


Yasser Arafat is no Martin Luther King of the Palestinians. He never condemned violence and never walked the extra mile for peace. Thus, he never achieved his people's freedom.
Napoleon Asfaw, Ethiopia

Yasser Arafat wasn't a man, he was an idea. The idea of a free Palestine living side by side with Israel. This idea will never die.
Seydi, Dakar, Senegal

As someone who knows what it feels like to have been on the receiving end of an occupying power's maltreatment as well as its media's attempts at poisoning our cause, I mourn the passing of Yasser Arafat. During our struggle for freedom in Africa, all our leaders, including the now feted Mandela, were labelled terrorists. History will come to label men such as Arafat as heroes once the dust has settled.
Nyika Ndeyedu, Harare, Zimbabwe

Arafat has enriched world history. He truly symbolised the Palestinian struggle. Muslims all over the world should take solace in the fact that he died during the holy month of Ramadan.
Olawale Ajimotokan, Lagos, Nigeria

The last respect Palestinians can give to their greatest leader is by choosing a brave and strong successor who will work towards achieving Yasser Arafat's dreams of peace and freedom in the Middle East. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Cecilia Chisale, Lilongwe, Malawi

Arafat was a freedom fighter. Whether being one is good or bad, I will leave it to you. We know of the Palestinian problem principally because he put it in our face.
Bradley Ngana Kisia, Nairobi, Kenya


If we take a look at the political affairs of the Middle East we have no choice but to acknowledge that Mr Arafat has taken a conciliatory approach to the problems of that region. Therefore his absence from the political scene will neither be good for the Palestinians nor the Israelis.
Abdul Wali, Kabul, Afghanistan

Times are changing. Arafat was a man out of his time. He missed the opportunities that the Clinton-led peace process provided as he did not have the courage to take the decision and face his own people. Let us see new blood in the seat of power and move to make a real peace.
Kelvin Ashby King, Bangalore, India

Nobody can forget his contribution. He has become immortal. Now it is to be seen who will become his true inheritor and fulfil the work started by him.
Vinod Kumar Pandey, Delhi, India

In my view, he was the Mahatma Gandhi of the Palestinians.
Gopal Lal Lakhara, Rajasthan, India

It is sad what has happened. Mr Arafat was a great leader of the Palestinians who led bravely and strongly. He was one of the few leaders who opposed a superpower.
Hasan, Karachi, Pakistan

His name should not be glorified. What he was doing was not a movement. I fully endorse the attitude of Israelis towards him.
Vijay Kumar, Lucknow, India

Without Arafat, the Palestinian issue would have been long buried in the rubble of history as one of those minor irritants. By not signing up to Camp David, Arafat clearly resisted the temptation to see a solution in his lifetime. Any future Palestinian leader must clearly establish the bottom line: No compromise on 1967 borders, no violence, recognise Israel, guarantee the safety and security of Israel, perhaps find a compromise on the right to return issue
Salih, Chennai, India

I am really sad because this man who fought for freedom all his life had to die in a state of oppression. When he changed his strategy later in life he followed the wrong path. While he championed the cause of Muslims, he remained friendlier with countries who are not supportive of Muslims. I don't think he had a clear vision of where he wanted to take his people.
Ali Imran Shaheen, Lahore, Pakistan

Anyone who loves his country and his people must be saddened by his death. What he did for Palestinians will be remembered in history. The vacuum created by his untimely death cannot be filled that easily.
Jubran Khalil, Lahore, Pakistan

There is no doubt that Arafat was one of greatest leaders in history and his service to his people will be remembered forever, but by cooperating with Israel he actually damaged the intifada, and the hope of Palestinian freedom.
Ali Athar, Multan, Pakistan


Leaders are born and Yasser Arafat was one of them. Until the last minute of his life he fought for the cause he led for which the entire Muslim Ummah is wholly proud of.
Riaz Shareef, Perth, Western Australia

Hopefully now that he's gone, his people will end up with a leader who doesn't allow rampant corruption and cronyism to flourish and their lives will improve.
Ciaran Carolan, Sydney, Australia

Arafat had his chance to name successors or resign from the throne, yet he never did this during his time in power. I can only hope that there won't be any bloody struggle to gain power from within the Palestinian people, that the new leader will also surrender his ego for his people, and will do everything he can to resume the peace talks. The new Palestinian leader needs to stop the terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and work together with the UN and the international community.
Ridwan Gosal, Indonesia

This is a very sad day for the people of Palestine and for many people around the world. Yasser Arafat, for many, embodied and represented hope. He was a courageous man, and a man of ideals and he was the symbol of a nation. Let us hope that one day the people of Palestine are liberated from the occupation, and the recognition of their state can be achieved. Yasser Arafat would want this for his people.
John Ahern, Sydney, Australia

The Palestinians called him a freedom fighter and the Israelis called him a terrorist. Whatever you choose to call him, he was part of humanity's history, significant in the short term and insignificant in the long term. In the end, it is the victors who writes history. Who do you think will win in the end?
Alan Kieran, Australia



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