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Arabs in the P.A. Gloomy About Saddam´s Capture

Arabs in the Palestinian Authority have reacted to the capture of Saddam with "gloom, disbelief, and shock," according to local reports.
First Publish: 12/15/2003, 3:54 PM

Arabs in the Palestinian Authority have reacted to the capture of Saddam with "gloom, disbelief, and shock," according to local reports. The Jerusalem Post quoted one PA resident as saying, "I love him so much, I can't stand watching it while he's in custody," and yet another as lamenting, "We are so sad." Haaretz, for its part, told of a taxi driver in Ramallah who said, "It's a black day in history... not because Saddam is an Arab, but because he is the only man who said 'no' to American injustice in the Middle East."

Haifa University Prof. Steven Plaut noted that the "Arab students in the cafeteria were thrown into deep remorse and anger and shock. Their faces showed their sorrow."

That feeling goes all the way up to the top, it appears. An official statement released by Yasser Arafat's Mukata headquarters stated that Arafat was "saddened" to hear of the capture of the former Iraqi dictator.

Hamas spokesman Abdel Aziz Rantisi told Reuters the United States would pay a very high price for capturing Saddam Hussein. "What the United States did is ugly and despicable. It is an insult to all Arabs and an insult to Muslims," he said.

Prime Minister Sharon, on the other hand, who was informed about the capture several hours before the rest of the world, said yesterday that he had spoken with U.S. President Bush and "congratulated him on the successful operation that led to the capture of Saddam Hussein. Today is a great day for the democratic world, for the fighters for freedom and justice, [and] for those who fight against terror."