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Middle-east on fire: Arafat was poisoned with Polonium

Middle-east on fire: Arafat was poisoned with Polonium
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July 4, 2012 - A nine-month investigation suggests that the late Palestinian leader may have been poisoned with polonium. It was a scene that riveted the world for weeks: The ailing Yasser Arafat, first besieged by Israeli tanks in his Ramallah compound, then shuttled to Paris, where he spent his final days undergoing a barrage of medical tests in a French military hospital.

Eight years after his death, it remains a mystery exactly what killed the longtime Palestinian leader. Tests conducted in Paris found no obvious traces of poison in Arafat’s system. Rumors abound about what might have killed him – cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, even allegations that he was infected with HIV.

A nine-month investigation by Al Jazeera has revealed that none of those rumors were true: Arafat was in good health until he suddenly fell ill on October 12, 2004.


More importantly, tests reveal that Arafat’s final personal belongings – his clothes, his toothbrush, even his iconic kaffiyeh – contained abnormal levels of polonium, a rare, highly radioactive element. Those personal effects, which were analyzed at the Institut de Radiophysique in Lausanne, Switzerland, were variously stained with Arafat’s blood, sweat, saliva and urine. The tests carried out on those samples suggested that there was a high level of polonium inside his body when he died.

“I can confirm to you that we measured an unexplained, elevated amount of unsupported polonium-210 in the belongings of Mr. Arafat that contained stains of biological fluids,” said Dr. Francois Bochud, the director of the institute.

The findings have led Suha Arafat, his widow, to ask the Palestinian Authority to exhume her late husband’s body from its grave in Ramallah. If tests show that Arafat’s bones contain high levels of polonium, it would be more conclusive proof that he was poisoned, doctors say.

“I know the Palestinian Authority has been trying to discover what Yasser died from,” Suha Arafat said in an interview. “And now we are helping them. We have very substantial, very important results.”






Sources and more information:

Arafat was poisoned by polonium: report

Yasser Arafat, who died in 2004, was poisoned by polonium, according to the findings of laboratory research carried out in Switzerland and cited in an Al-Jazeera report on Tuesday. The analysis focused on biological samples taken from the late Palestinian leader's belongings given to his wife Suha by the military hospital in Paris where he died,...

From the Cold Case Files: Was Yasser Arafat Killed by Polonium?

Theories about poisoning, diseases, and sabotage have swirled around Yasser Arafat since the Palestinian leader suddenly fell ill in October 2004 and died the following month. Now Al Jazeera has a new suggestion to add to the bunch: radioactive polonium. The network reported on Tuesday that its own investigation "hinted" at the possibility Arafat...


( via aljazeera.com )



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