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NEWS: Tens of Thousands Storm Mukata Compound; Arafat Buried Amidst Massive Gunfire

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posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 05:00 AM
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A crowd of tens of thousands stormed the Mukata compound of Yasser Arafat in Ramallah. When the chopper bearing Arafat's body landed, the crowds rushed the helicopter and surrounded it utterly. Massive gunfire began as the choppers entered view and continued long after the coffin was buried. Skirmishes broke out and a large SUV type vehicle drove wildly through the crowd in an attempt to clear people away from the choppers; quite a few gatherers appeared to be struck by the vehicle. The coffin was removed from the chopper and placed on top of the vehicle that was previously trying to clear a path. The vehicle drove very slowly through the crowd as people attempted to touch and climb on the coffin. The final few yards to the gravesite found bearers carrying the casket on their shoulders. Progress was slow and uncertain, but they inched closer to the crypt and managed to safely place the casket next to the grave. The crowds chanted, "Whoever poisoned Arafat, we will drink his blood."
As of approximately 8:20am EST, Yasser Arafat was interred at the gravesite in his Ramallah compound. Some of the crowd began to clear afterwards.
 

Arafat's body arrived via helicopter from Cairo. Unarmed Palestinian forces tried to maintain order, but the sheer number of people appeared to be making this almost impossible. There were fears that the crowd may attempt to take the coffin and physically carry it to Jerusalem, only a short distance away, where he wanted to be buried.

Gunfire was heard amongst the crowd and isolated groups were engaging in what appeared to be small physical skirmishes. A group of men, bearing swords and M16s, dressed in black and with their heads covered, made their way through the crowd towards the compound. They are believed to be the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade - the militant wing of the Fatah movement. Hamas officials also entered the crowd and appeared to be riling the crowd up even more.

For most of the day, forces have prevented anyone but authorized personnel from entering. At approximately 5:30am EST (1:30pm local time), some members of the crowd suddenly broke through the guards, scaled a fence, and made their way inside. Hundreds upon hundreds followed suit.

Throngs of people climbed the outer walls of the compound and milled about inside. Many people climbed onto roofs and walls as more and more pushed inside. Palestinian forces formed human chains in an attempt to hold off the mass of people, however it seemed to be having little to no effect.

"Several" people have been taken out of the compound via stretcher to waiting ambulances. It has not been said what their injuries are, but between the crush of the crowd and the amount of gunfire, one could speculate either of these were the cause.



ABCnews.com
Thousands of Palestinian mourners burst into Yasser Arafat's walled compound Friday to try to get close to his burial site, raising questions about whether the helicopter bearing his body could land inside.

For several hours, hundreds of Palestinian police had tried to keep the growing crowd back, but at one point, mourners managed to break through gates and climb over walls.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


A car bomb went off near Ramallah as the helicopters were en route to the compound, killing at least two people.


Reuters
A car exploded near the West Bank city of Ramallah on Friday, killing two people, an Israeli emergency service said.

No other details were immediately available about the blast, which occurred as a helicopter carrying the body of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat headed for a landing at his Ramallah compound where he was to be buried.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



[edit on 13-11-2004 by Banshee]




posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 05:49 AM
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I'm watching this now.
It looks very tense, mostly people pushing and shoving.
If there is ANY control, it's self control..It's Very crowded..

The arrival of Arafats body will set the real tone..

[edit on 12-11-2004 by spacedoubt]



posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 05:51 AM
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Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade has apprently arrived, and they've got swords & guns.

The reporter on scene is saying there are fears they may try to take the coffin and march it to Jerusalem.

Tense is an understatement, I think.....



posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 05:53 AM
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I'm watching it on fox right now and there are a TON of people. You really have to see it to believe it.



posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 05:59 AM
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Originally posted by Banshee
Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade has apprently arrived, and they've got swords & guns.

The reporter on scene is saying there are fears they may try to take the coffin and march it to Jerusalem.

Tense is an understatement, I think.....


My gut feel for days is that there would be a forced attempt at this. Though whatever group (groups) take part in this attempt are initiating something that is far less important, even in symbolic terms, than the lives they could be risking due to violence, the major question is how reserved will the Israeli side be.

I'm glad I'm a long damned ways from that place today.



posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 06:00 AM
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It is, it's incredible..
You're right, I'm tense, they are on the razors edge of mob mentality.
I hope it stays non-violent.
Like it or not, the Palestinians will be judged by their behavior..



posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 06:04 AM
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The worst part about the whole thing is that the Palestinian forces trying to maintain order....
are utterly and completely unarmed.

In fact, the only people with weapons are Al Aqsa and probably half the people in the crowd.

NOT GOOD.

Edit: the crowd is starting to freak out, the helicopters may be in sight

Edit #2: Here we go, choppers are in sight....

Edit #3: Hamas has arrived, riling the crowd up even more, getting very loud and raucous. How are they going to land 3 choppers in that mess???

[edit on 12-11-2004 by Banshee]



posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 06:09 AM
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Oh crap!

It's way above fever pitched...
There might be some attempts at body snatching..
Seems like the guys in black are jockeying for position



posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 06:10 AM
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if anyone wants to watch this
news.bbc.co.uk...#



posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 06:11 AM
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The Israelis are not helping by breaking up a large group of mourners who were attempting
to pray for Arafat with batons.
Sorry, no link. It was on t.v.

Sanc'.



posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 06:12 AM
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Ok this isn't good, It looks as if hell is about to break lose. I hope everyone will be ok there.



posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 06:13 AM
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Crowds rushing choppers, massive gunfire



posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 06:15 AM
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This is getting strange.
Sanc, I don't think those were israelis.



posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 06:15 AM
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This is stupid...the Palestinian police should know they can't stop all these people, yet they landed the helo.....

Let's see what happens, but I don't expect a good outcome out of this.

Already there is a report of a car bomb a couple miles from the landing site of the helos....



posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 06:15 AM
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Helicopter is now rushed, securit breached. It is anarchy there. It took about 2 minutes for it to break for people who are wondering and can't watch.



posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 06:16 AM
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Those police forces are not Israeli... If it was Israeli police officers they would have already been attacked by the mob...

This is really crazy... He is supposed to be buried at sunset according to Channel 7 News.



[edit on 12-11-2004 by Muaddib]



posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 06:23 AM
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I cannot see the live video uplink as Im currently hard at work. Im just writing to ask if any1 who has already posted in this news thread would be kind enough to keep us informedof whats going on in realtime, as I would hate to see the coffin of such a great statesman stolen and used to incite any violence if they tried to march the coffin to the temple mount for burial....this situation could explode into bloodshed and civil war......right now im just praying for all of those mourners in Palestine that they may keep safe.



posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 06:24 AM
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Originally posted by spacedoubt
This is getting strange.
Sanc, I don't think those were israelis.


space', They were Israeli police somewhere in the Gaza Strip. Sorry i sould have stated that
it was NOT at the compound.

Sanc'.



posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 06:24 AM
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A military jeep has arrived and they seem to be preparing to move the body of Arafat into the jeep.

The jeep is being driven fast back and forth...I guess to try to keep people from getting too close...

[edit on 12-11-2004 by Muaddib]



posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 06:25 AM
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Here is a link to the car bomb that exploded near his compound:




JERUSALEM - A car bomb blew up a few miles from Yasser Arafat's Ramallah headquarters Friday just as the helicopter carrying the Palestinian leader's body was set to land in the West Bank city, Israel TV reported.

Two Palestinians were seriously wounded in the explosion near Ramallah's Bir Zeit University, the TV reported.

The explosion took place as tens of thousands of Palestinians gathered around Arafat's compound to watch the 75-year-old leader buried. Arafat died Thursday in a Paris hospital.

Car Bomb




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