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 Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid