Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has pledged to remain faithful to Yasser Arafat's legacy. Speaking to a crowd of thousands in Gaza City Friday, Mr. Abbas repeated his support for an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. The Fatah candidate called on Israel to end its occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.
His speech marking the 40th anniversary of the political movement created by Mr. Arafat came as three Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the the southern Gaza Strip on Friday. In the latest incident Friday night, Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian man suspected of planting explosives. Thirteen Palestinians have been killed since Israeli forces began a military offensive earlier this week. Officials say the operation is aimed at stopping mortar and rocket attacks on Jewish settlements.