MvJj, 17 [mWyj 2005


Second Prize, General News Stories, Paolo Pellegrin, Italy, Magnum Photos for Vanity Fair
Yasser Arafat died in a military hospital in Paris on November 11 at the age of 75,after decades as Palestinian leader. Tens of thousands of Palestinians converged on the Muqata compound in Ramallah for his burial two days later, even though the Israeli army had closed off other towns in the West Bank and prevented people travelling from the Gaza Strip. Mourners climbed on to the few high structures in the compound to get first glimpse of the helicopter that arrived bearing his body, and crowds swarmed the landing pad. Arafats death was seen to mark a turning point in middle-eastern politics. The election of his successor Mahmoud Abbas, as president of the Palestinian Authority, in January 2005, lent renewed impetus to the peace process.

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