A new museum dedicated to the late Palestinian arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat will display his 1994 Nobel Peace Prize, now that Hamas has returned the medal to the rival Palestinian Authority.
Nasser al-Qidwa, Arafat’s nephew and president of the new Arafat Institute, told reporters on Tuesday that the medal will be among dozens of Arafat’s belongings displayed at the museum, which is scheduled to open in Ramallah on Nov. 9.
Arafat shared the prize with then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres for their work in reaching the 1993 Oslo interim peace accord.
The prize was meant to usher in a final peace accord, but instead led only to more Palestinian violence. In 2000, a Palestinian uprising, or Intifada, erupted. Arafat spent the final years of his life living under siege at his Ramallah headquarters before dying in France in 2004.
Arafat’s Nobel Prize was kept at his Gaza headquarters. But when Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 from forces loyal to Arafat’s successor, President Mahmoud Abbas, the building was looted.
Al-Qidwa did not say when Hamas returned the medal to the Palestinian Authority, but said it was the only item to be recovered from the building. He said most are believed to have disappeared, and some have even been spotted in Gaza marketplaces.
“Lots of belongings were lost in Arafat’s [travels] from Beirut to Tunis to Gaza and Ramallah,” al-Qidwa said.
The $7 million, 28,000-square-foot museum will include a part of the headquarters where he was confined by Israel, dozens of small notebooks, his notorious khaki military uniform, a kaffiyeh, or headdress, and a pistol.