Share story

QALQILIYA, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian activists have built a monument to the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in the West Bank.

The monument, showing a portrait of Saddam in a bowler hat and pointing a rifle in the air, was erected last week in the town of Qalqiliya.

A small faction called the Arab Liberation Front built the structure, but the city’s governor, Rafea Rawajbeh, a member of the ruling Fatah movement, was among those in attendance at last week’s opening ceremony.

The Qalqiliya municipality declined comment.

Saddam was a longtime supporter of the Palestinians, and gave millions of dollars to the families of suicide bombers during the Intifada that began in 2000.

He remains popular among many Palestinians because he fired several dozen Scud missiles at Israel during the 1991 Gulf War. That year, posters of Saddam hung from lampposts in the Gaza Strip and rallies were held in his honor.

Saddam was toppled in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and executed three years later.

The Arab Liberation Front has built Saddam monuments in several other Palestinian towns.