Town in Southern France Names Street After Yasser Arafat

The town also has a street named after Yitzhak Rabin. 'To the best of my knowledge, the two men received the Nobel Peace Prize together,' says the mayor in response to criticism.

Wikimedia Commons

The municipal council of a town in south-western France has voted to name a street after Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader who died in 2004, the Var-matin website reported.

The proposal was adopted by a large majority in the La Seyne-sur-Mer council on Tuesday, though a number of councilors objected to naming a street after a "terrorist."

"There is also a Yitzhak Rabin Street in the neighborhood," Socialist Marc Vuillemot said in response to the critics. "To the best of my knowledge, the two men received the Nobel Peace Prize together."

Vuillemot added that the name had been chosen by a committee composed of the town's residents.

It is the first street in France to be named after Arafat, who died in a French hospital in November 2004. There is a "Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat " square in Bobigny, a suburb of Paris, and am attempt to name a development project in Belfort after Arafat several years ago was scrapped after the local Jewish community objected.