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Arafat legacy 'unsafe', says nephew

An image and a mural depicting Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat are seen on his 16th death anniversary in Khan Yunis, Gaza on 11 November 2020. [Abed Rahim Khatip - Anadolu Agency]
An image and a mural depicting Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat are seen on his 16th death anniversary in Khan Yunis, Gaza on 11 November 2020. [Abed Rahim Khatip - Anadolu Agency]

The nephew of the late PLO, Fatah and Palestinian Authority President, Yasser Arafat, said on Monday that his uncle's legacy is "unsafe," Al Watan Voice has reported. Nasser Al-Qudwa made his comment after a wave of anger hit social media when the Arafat Foundation showed "offensive" caricatures of the former Palestinian leader at an event it had organised.

Al-Qudwa was fired from his role running the foundation following his criticism of the current PLO, Fatah and PA President Mahmoud Abbas last year.

"The Arafat Foundation and its museum were hijacked when they were taken over forcibly last year," he said. "The illegal managers of the foundation cannot be the guardians of the legacy of Yasser Arafat and this was very clear in the offensive caricature drawings that appeared in the show inaugurated in Ramallah to commemorate his death."

What happened, he added, outweighs the offence to Arafat himself and his symbolic status, because it outraged the Palestinians in Palestine and the diaspora. "Arafat's legacy and career are unsafe in the hands of his false heirs. We have warned about this before."

A statement from the museum said that the caricatures were examined by a board of artists before they were shown in the fair. Some drawings that could ignite religious or political controversy had been excluded. "The drawings shown in the fair represent the views of the artists and their way of supporting the Palestinian cause and respecting Yasser Arafat," it insisted.

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