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Arafat / Archive Digging

In the early days of February 2002, I was smuggled into the Mukata - known as Arafat's Compound by the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades to photograph Yasser Arafat. He was under house arrest. Two Israeli tanks, with their barrels pointed at him, were parked just 200 meters away. The message from the Israeli prime minister at that time, Ariel Sharon, was clear: you are grounded, and the land you hoped to turn into a Palestinian state is shrinking by the day. In late 2004, after effectively being confined within his Ramallah compound for over two years, Arafat became ill, fell into a coma and died. The cause of his illness and subsequent death is disputed. This is the picture and that is the story.

Photo © Eddie Gerald

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