It was an inadvertent tribute by President Bush to Yasser Arafat's 36 years as leader of the Palestinians and to a controversial man admired by some as a freedom fighter and reviled by others as a terrorist.

Asked to comment on what turned out to be premature reports of Mr. Arafat's death last week, Mr. Bush said, "My first reaction is, May God bless his soul. My second reaction is that we will continue to work for a free Palestinian state that is at peace with Israel."

The man who forged Palestinian identity | csmonitor.com


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