Arafat supporters hold overnight vigil outside hospital

5th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

CLAMART, France, Nov 4 (AFP) - Several dozen people on Thursday gathered outside a military hospital near Paris where Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was being kept alive by artificial life support systems.

CLAMART, France, Nov 4 (AFP) - Several dozen people on Thursday gathered outside a military hospital near Paris where Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was being kept alive by artificial life support systems.

"When it is someone you love, you don't want to belive it. But then reality sinks in. The only thing we are certain about tonight is that Yasser Arafat is the immortal symbol of the Palestinian cause," said student Fatima Bena, 35.  

Supporters of Arafat, who is 75, placed portraits of the Palestinian leader at the scene, unfurled Palestinian flags and lit candles in his honour, part of a ritual that first began when Arafat first entered Percy hospital on October 29.  

"I am here for the first time this evening because I sense something grave is happening and that I have to be here, in solidarity," said Miloud Zehraoui, 39, an architect.  

Several people said they were ready to spend the whole night outside the hospital, "waiting for news" according Fatima Bena, who had come to pay homage with dates and hot coffee.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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