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Arafat defiant following Sharon threats

April 24, 2004 at 2:06 PM

RAMALLAH, West Bank, April 24 (UPI) -- Palestinian leader Yssser Arafat was defiant Saturday in response to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's renewed death threats.

He told supporters crowded into his compound in the West Bank town of Ramallah, where he has been a virtual prisoner for the past two years, "I don't fear Sharon's threats. I'm destined to die a martyr."

Earlier this week Sharon said he would no longer honor a commitment to the Bush administration that the Israelis would not harm Arafat physically. Washington promptly warned Sharon that Arafat remained off limits as an assassination target.

Using poetic Arabic language Arafat said, "To Sharon and his gang I say: "Oh mountain, the wind will never move you."

But Palestinian Prime Minster Ahmed Qurei, also known as Abu Ala, called on the U.N. Security Council and the international community to "make every effort to prevent the prime minister (Sharon) from harming Arafat."

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