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September 21, 2002: Israel orders Arafat headquarters evacuated

Today in History: September 21, 2002: Israel orders Arafat headquarters evacuated

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An Israeli army bulldozer demolishes a building in Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's compound in the West Bank town of Ramallah. - Gulf News Archives
Gulf News

Israel orders Arafat headquarters evacuated

2002 - Israeli troops called on everyone inside Palestinian President Yasser Arafat’s besieged headquarters to evacuate the building immediately. Speaking in Arabic over loudspeakers, soldiers called on everyone inside the building to “come out immediately one by one with your hands up because a huge explosion is going to happen”. They also called on Palestinian residents in the area to evacuate their homes ahead of the explosion. A Palestinian security official inside the compound said that despite the warning, “nobody was going to surrender”. Arafat vowed not to capitulate to Israel after its forces demolished parts of the building where he was under siege and turned most of his sprawling presidential compound to rubble.

September 21

1746 - French forces conquer Madras, India, after a brief siege.

1802 - Napoleon Bonaparte of France annexes Piedmont in Italy.

1841 - The London to Brighton railway line opens.

1860 - Anglo-French troops defeat Chinese at Pa-Li-Chau.

1896 - British force under Horatio Kitchener takes Dongola in the Sudan.

1898 - Tzu-Hsi, dowager Empress of China, seizes power and revokes reforms.

1931 - Britain goes off the gold standard.

1942 - The Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber make its first flight.

1949 - People’s Republic of China is proclaimed by its Communist leaders.

1972 - Ferdinand Marcos proclaims martial law in the Philippines and jails thousands of opponents.

1981 - Belize gains its independence from Great Britain.

1982 - Ameen Gemayel is elected president of Lebanon after his brother’s assassination.

1985 - Michael Spinks becomes the first light-heavyweight champion ever to win the heavyweight title after beating Larry Holmes.

1988 - Coup leader General San Maung is named Burma’s prime minister.

1993 - Russian President Boris Yeltsin dissolves parliament and calls for new elections.

1995 - Pakistan expels 13 Afghan diplomats in retaliation for a deadly attack on its embassy in Islamabad.

1998 - Sprint queen Florence Griffith-Joyner dies at the age of 38.

2003 - Nasa’s ageing Galileo spacecraft plunges into Jupiter’s turbulent atmosphere.

2008 - South African President Thabo Mbeki resigns.

2011 - The Iranian judiciary releases American hikers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, who was jailed for espionage and illegally crossing the border.

2014 - Afghanistan’s rival presidential candidates Ashraf Gani and Abdullah Abdullah sign a power share deal.

2015 - Hind Abdul Aziz Al Owais becomes the first Emirati to be named senior adviser at the United Nations headquarters.