Accessibility links

Israeli Forces On Highest Alert For Arafat Burial

12 November 2004 -- Israel has put its security forces on the highest state of alert ahead of Yasser Arafat's burial in the West Bank, which is expected to occur after the Palestinian leader's funeral today in Egypt.

Police spokesman Gil Kleiman said authorities are concerned about possible Palestinian attacks and rioting linked to the burial and have put "basically the whole police force" on duty.

The security focused on Jerusalem's Old City where thousands of Muslims were expected to gather for prayers.

Shifting forces to their highest alert level is a step believed rarely used by Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said Arafat's death could mark a "turning point" for peace if his successors end anti-Israeli violence.