Was Yasser Arafat poisoned?

November 7, 2013 11:48 am

Was Yasser Arafat poisoned

Jerusalem 07th November 2013: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned to death on 11 November 2004 with radioactive polonium, according to Swiss forensic report.

The first publicly available results on the testing the remains of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat support the possibility that he could have been poisoned with the rare and lethal substance.

 The test shows unexpectedly high levels of radioactive polonium-210 in Arafat’s ribs, pelvis and in soil that absorbed his bodily fluids.

 After receiving the results of Swiss forensic tests on his remains, Yasser’s wife Suha Arafat said yesterday that he was poisoned to death. A copy of the result was obtained exclusively by al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based news network.

“It’s shocking … I remember how Yasser was shrinking at the hospital, how in his eyes there were a lot of questions. Death is a fate in life, it is everybody’s fate, but when it’s poison it’s terrible. We are mourning him again now,” the Guardian quoted Suha as saying.

“My daughter and I have to know who did it. We will not stop in our quest to find out. I hope the Palestinian Authority goes further on it, searching every single aspect of it. It is of course a political crime. This is separate from the peace process or talks. Any judicial investigation is separate from the peace process,” she said.

Polonium-210 is a highly radioactive substance and can be lethal if it is consumed in high quantity. Vaudois University Hospital Centre (CHUV) scientists carried out the test on samples taken from his corpse and items he had taken into the French military hospital in Paris where he died. He had been transferred to there from West Bank after his health weakened due to severe nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhoea after having dinner on Oct. 12, 2004 in Ramallah in the West Bank.

The scientists said that they had been incapable of reaching a clear cut conclusion because of the time that had lapsed since Arafat’s death and the limited samples obtained.

Palestine has blamed Israel for Arafat’s death.”It was a government decision not to touch Arafat at all. If anyone poisoned him, it could have been someone from his close circle,” said Raanan Gissin, a former Israeli government spokesman.

About the Author

Ahmad Diyari Kaashif is a Senior Journalist and Head of the International Bureau at Qatar Chronicle

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