Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Abu Mazin, said on the first anniversary of the death of the late Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat, that Arafat died without a country or freedom which he fought to achieve for forty years, “but we will continue his path and follow his lead”.

“Please allow me to address our leader, Yasser Arafat, while we stand beside his grave, and tell him, and all of our martyrs, that we will never abandon our legitimate rights and the principles they fought for”, Abbas said.

“Jerusalem is our capital, there is no alternative to Jerusalem”, he added.

The statements of Abbas came while he was addressing the residents, P.A officials and guests in Ramallah, during ceremonies held near Arafat’s grave on the first anniversary of his death.

“Yasser Arafat managed to raise the Palestinian cause to the international level”, Abbas stated, “He resembles our straggle, our steadfastness, and determination”.

Also, Abbas said that the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip is considered the first step towards liberation, a step which the Palestinians will use in order to build a democratic society which respects the principles of human rights.

“We are determined to continue what Arafat started, we will continue the reforms in the institutions of the Palestinian Liberation Organization”, Abbas stated, “We will conduct reforms in the Palestinian Authority”.

Abbas added that establishing the Palestinian democratic system cannot be achieved without transparency, and independent judicial system.

He stated that the P.A will fight all sorts of corruption, administrative, security, political and financial, and will continue its efforts to develop the Palestinian society and economy.

“We will over come all of the difficulties, we know our task will not be easy as a result of the occupation and the Israeli procedures, but we are determined to develop our society”, Abbas added.