Late PLO leader and arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat. (AP/Enric Marti) (AP/Enric Marti)
Yasser Arafat

An Arab town in Israel named a street after Yasser Arafat without authorization. Netanyahu has vowed to fight this illegal glorification of an arch-terrorist. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Saturday that he will not allow any street in Israel to be named after arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat.

He was referring to the naming of a street in the northern Israeli-Arab village of Jatt after Arafat.

In a post on his Facebook page, Netanyahu said he had learned about it through disabled IDF war veterans. “No street in the State of Israel will be named after Yasser Arafat, and we will work to remove the sign,” he stated.

Netanyahu spoke Friday with Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, who said that his ministry had never authorized the naming of any street after Arafat.

“We cannot allow streets in the State of Israel to be named after Yasser Arafat and Haj Amin al-Husseini and others. We will make the arrangements, including new legislation if need be, so that this does not happen here,” the prime minister stated at his weekly cabinet meeting Sunday morning.

Liran Baruch, a paratrooper who was wounded in action during an operation in Qalandiya, told Channel 10: “A friend of mine who went to serve in reserve duty near the village of Jatt noticed on Waze a street named after Yasser Arafat. He pointed this out to me right away, and I wrote a post on Facebook about it and notified the CEO of the Im Tirtzu organization, Matan Peleg.”

Im Tirtzu, an Israeli NGO, subsequently helped the wounded veterans pen a letter to Deri and bring the matter to the public agenda, the organization said in a press release..

Muhammad Wattad, head of the Jatt regional council, told IDF Radio on Sunday that he would examine the request to remove the offensive street name. He said he understood “the anger and the pain,” but “from our perspective, [Arafat] represents the official leader of the Palestinian people, with Israel recognizing him as a partner for negotiations. Therefore there is no legal, social or moral prohibition to name a street after him.”

He said he believed the uproar was the result of “right-wing political pressure” and that he would explore the legal aspects and work accordingly.

Arafat, the late head of the terrorist Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority (PA), was responsible for the deaths of thousands of Israelis.

Wattad asserted that “whoever calls him [Arafat] a mass murder should take responsibility for his words.”

By: United with Israel Staff

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