Ariel Sharon buried in the Negev desert

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Israeli occupation forces walk past a newspaper with a picture of late former prime minister Ariel Sharon on the front page, on January 12, 2014, in Jerusalem. (Photo: AFP - Ahmad Gharabli)

Published Monday, January 13, 2014

Israel was on Monday burying former premier Ariel Sharon who died two days earlier at the age of 85 after spending eight years in a coma.

His corpse will buried at a ranch in the southern Negev desert, which lies a few miles from the northern border of the Gaza Strip.

His memorial service took place outside the parliament in Jerusalem which was packed with Israeli leaders and a handful of foreign diplomats, including US Vice President Joe Biden and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

He was long considered a war criminal for his personal responsibility in the 1982 massacre of some 2,000 Palestinians and Lebanese by Israel's Lebanese Phalangist allies in Beirut's Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.

Camp residents and Arabs across the world rejoiced at the news of his death.

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, regretted that Sharon never faced justice.

"His passing is another grim reminder that years of virtual impunity for rights abuses have done nothing to bring Israeli-Palestinian peace any closer. For the thousands of victims of abuses, Sharon's passing without facing justice magnifies their tragedy," she said.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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