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French street to be named after late Palestinian leader Arafat

The municipal council of French town has voted to name a newly-built street after late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat

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The municipal council of a French town has voted to name a newly-built street after late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, according to local reports.

In a first in France, the vote in the southwestern town of La Seyne-sur-Mer took place earlier this week, French newspaper Nice Matin reported.

Several councillors have objected naming a street after who they called a “controversial” figure. Others went further, describing Arafat as a “terrorist.”

In response to critics, the town's mayor Marc Vuillemot said, "There is also a Yitzhak Rabin Street in the neighborhood,” referring to the slain Israeli prime minister seen by many as a reconciliatory figure.

"To the best of my knowledge, the two men received the Nobel Peace Prize together," Nice Matin quoted him as saying.

Vuillemot added that the name had been chosen by a committee composed of the town's residents.