News / Middle East

Arab World Reacts to Sharon's Death

Palestinians dance after hearing that Ariel Sharon, the hard-charging Israeli general and prime minister, died, as they celebrate in the Ein el-Hilweh camp near the southern city of Sidon, Lebanon, Jan. 11, 2014
Palestinians dance after hearing that Ariel Sharon, the hard-charging Israeli general and prime minister, died, as they celebrate in the Ein el-Hilweh camp near the southern city of Sidon, Lebanon, Jan. 11, 2014
Edward Yeranian
The death of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon Saturday is drawing mostly sober reaction across the Middle East.

In Egypt, state TV showed old footage of Sharon with his troops, fighting in the Sinai during Israel's capture of the region in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. Many Egyptians accuse Sharon of ordering the execution of Egyptian Army prisoners who had surrendered.

Some Palestinians in Lebanon and the West Bank rejoiced, while many appear to be ignoring it. Palestinians blame Sharon for the 1982 massacres at two refugee camps in Beirut during Israel's invasion of Lebanon.

Witnesses say some Palestinians in the Ain el-Helwa refugee camp in the Lebanese port city of Sidon fired automatic rifles into the air to celebrate the death of Sharon.

Lebanon's pro-Iranian Hezbollah group showed footage of then-Israeli general Sharon with a stunned look on his face after local guerillas blew up an Israeli intelligence headquarters in the port city of Tyre. Scores of Israelis were killed in the blast, which leveled the building.

Souheil Natour, who represents the pro-Syrian Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Lebanon, told Iran's Press TV that Sharon was the “symbol of Israeli extremism against the Palestinian people,” who “spent his whole life killing people.”

Many in Lebanon mostly ignored the news.

A veteran analyst and commentator in Lebanon said Sharon, who had been in a coma since 2006, “has been dead for 8 years already. What has changed?”

Sharon is remembered in the Arab world for having blood on his hands, says Middle East scholar Nadim Shehadi of Chatham House in London. Shehadi points to Sharon's legacy of hawkishness and says his name will always be associated with the massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.

However, towards the end of his life, Sharon had become less of a hardliner.

"In the end he was not such a hawk when he formed [the] Kadima [Party]," said Shehadi. "The rationale behind the formation of Kadima was that Israel is no longer threatened by conventional warfare. The main threat was demographic and Kadima was for separation."

In Gaza, a Hamas spokesman said Sharon's death an “historic moment.”  Sami Abu Zuhri said Sharon was “a tyrant, with lots of Palestinian blood on his hands.”

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: PermReader
January 13, 2014 6:54 AM
I`s so difficult to love your enemies, but the Arabs` ability to be happy with their enemies` tragedies, deaths or disasters is staggering! Dragging Arab child`s corpse along the whole city while mourning, and dancing happily when the Israeli children are killed .

by: Ray Hanania from: Chicago
January 12, 2014 10:40 AM
Not all Arabs are celebrating Ariel Sharon's death. We don't all support violence and we find no join in anyone's loss of life. Here's my take on Ariel Sharon: http://thearabdailynews.com/arabs-celebrate-death-ariel-sharon-just-recognize/

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More