Palestinians are closely watching reports on the medical condition of Ariel Sharon. The Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia gave his reaction from Ramallah. He said: “For us the Palestinians, what concerns us, first we hope that he will recover and second we are looking all the time for a leader in Israel to be in favour of peace.”
The Islamic militant group Hamas gave a blunt reaction. “The political map will definitely change with the absence of Sharon,” said a spokesman. “But the absence of such a criminal and a militant will be better for the region.”
In the streets of Ramallah, there has been a mix of apprehension and rejoicing. One man said: “There was a lot of suffering from Sharon and his leadership, but I think he’s the only man who implemented the idea for peace.” Another man said: “I do not care about Sharon. Sick or not, he is a criminal, a war criminal, who massacred many people.” In Rafah in the Gaza Strip, schoolchildren celebrated by handing out cake to passers-by.