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Palestinians saw Sharon as bitter foe

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — While many around the world are paying tribute to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, his death is being celebrated by some Palestinians.

At a Gaza refugee camp, people burned pictures of Sharon and passed out sweets.

Sharon was loathed by many Palestinians for leading a settlement drive on the lands they want for a state and conducting military offensives against them in Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza.

A leader in the Islamic militant group Hamas says Sharon caused suffering to generations of Palestinians.

A man who served as Palestinian intelligence chief when Sharon was prime minister a decade ago, Tawfik Tirawi, says Sharon "wanted to erase the Palestinian people from the map." He says Sharon "wanted to kill us, but at the end of the day, Sharon is dead and the Palestinian people are alive."

The Israeli soldier-turned-politician-turned statesman died today at age 85, eight years after a stroke put him in a coma.

%@AP Links

162-c-19-(Karin Laub, AP correspondent)-"secretary of state"-AP correspondent Karin Laub reports most Palestinians consider Sharon to be old news. (11 Jan 2014)

<<CUT *162 (01/11/14)££ 00:19 "secretary of state"

163-c-20-(Karin Laub, AP correspondent)-"the bigger prize"-AP correspondent Karin Laub reports most Palestinians scorn Sharon's legacy and his supposed peace-making gesture. (11 Jan 2014)

<<CUT *163 (01/11/14)££ 00:20 "the bigger prize"

161-c-12-(Karin Laub, AP correspondent)-"their own state"-AP correspondent Karin Laub reports Palestinians see Sharon in an overwhelmingly negative light. (11 Jan 2014)

<<CUT *161 (01/11/14)££ 00:12 "their own state"

160-c-18-(Karin Laub, AP correspondent)-"was pretty subdued"-AP correspondent Karin Laub reports from Ramallah that when news of Ariel Sharon's death broke, most Palestinians seemed more interested in going on with their daily tasks than pausing to reflect on his impact in the region. ((contains the quoted expression 'Sharon go to hell.') (11 Jan 2014)

<<CUT *160 (01/11/14)££ 00:18 "was pretty subdued"

APPHOTO BEI104: Palestinian children hold weapons and chant slogans against Israel after hearing of the death of Ariel Sharon, the hard-charging Israeli general and prime minister, as they celebrate in the Ein el-Hilweh camp near the southern city of Sidon, Lebanon, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. Sharon was loathed by many Palestinians as a bitter enemy who did his utmost to sabotage their independence hopes — by leading military offensives against them in Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza and a settlement drive on the lands they want for a state. In 1982, Sharon engineered Israel's invasion of Lebanon, portraying it as quick, limited strike to drive Palestinian fighters from Israel's northern border. But Israeli troops advanced to outskirts of Beirut and war escalated. Fighting continued in southern Lebanon until Israel withdrew in 2000. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari) (11 Jan 2014)

<<APPHOTO BEI104 (01/11/14)££

APPHOTO HM107: A Palestinian distributes sweets to people on a street after hearing the death of the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. Sharon was loathed by many Palestinians as a bitter enemy who did his utmost to sabotage their independence hopes — by leading military offensives against them in Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza and a settlement drive on the lands they want for a state. Sharon died Saturday, eight years after a debilitating stroke put him into a coma. He was 85. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa) (11 Jan 2014)

<<APPHOTO HM107 (01/11/14)££

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