Israel is also making careful preparations for Yasser Arafat’s burial. It has defused a potential row with the Palestinian Authority by agreeing to allow Arafat to be interred at his battered Ramallah compound. Arab leaders are also free to attend if they wish. But, security is being stepped up across the country amid concerns Arafat’s death might touch off violent protests or militant attacks.
Earlier, Interior Minister Avraham Poraz, said Israel could not afford to drop its guard. “We just have to take care that no violence takes place. Actually the responsibility for the security situation in the Ramallah area lies with the Palestinian Authority.” After ruling out the burial in the holy city of Jerusalem that Arafat wanted, the Israeli government says it wants to show that it can act responsibly for what going to be “an extraordinary and unique funeral.”