Swiss scientists support the theory that Yasser Arafat was poisoned with Polonium 210 after conducting tests on samples taken from the Palestinian leader body. So Arafat was killed as many suspected when he suddenly fell ill after eating a meal in 2004 and was no way to cure him neither in his besieged compound in Ramallah nor in France where he was treated at the end. Now the question is who did it. Because to poison someone with Polonium requires expert hands with access to the meals of the Palestinian leader. The Israelis denied from the beginning being behind the alleged assassination. Other theories said  then that Arafat was poisoned by Palestinian rivals or that he died because of a common illness or a natural causes, because he was frail and old. But he was not so old. He was 75. Now the natural causes are out of consideration, so is time to look for responsibilities. But it would be very difficult nine years after the facts.

According to a 108-page report by the University Centre of Legal Medicine in Lausanne, obtained exclusively by Al Jazeera, scientist found in Arafat’s remains at least 18 times the normal levels of radioactive polonium and they said they were confident up to an 83 percent level that the late Palestinian leader was poisoned with it.

The report explains the cause of death of Arafat but not who poisoned him.

As Al Jazeera reported, Arafat suddenly fell ill after eating a meal on the evening of October 12, 2004. His health deteriorated swiftly. On October 29 flew to Jordan by helicopter and from there a French government plane carried him to Paris for emergency treatment at Percy military hospital. French doctors were unable to diagnose him and he died on November 11. Doctors at Percy Hospital did not conduct an autopsy, announce the cause of death or release his medical records, says Al Jazeera.

By 2011, when Al Jazeera began an investigation, Arafat’s death was a cold case.

During the investigation, Suha Arafat gave the network access to her late husband’s full medical records and a bag of his belongings, including clothing he wore during his final days. Tests conducted by the Swiss scientists who issued the new report found elevated levels of polonium-210, one of the element’s isotopes, in blood, sweat and urine stains on Arafat’s clothes.

In July 2012, Al Jazeera broadcast the results of its investigation in What Killed Arafat? The documentary triggered a French murder investigation and led to the exhumation of Arafat’s remains. Sixty samples of his body tissue were taken and twenty each distributed to the Swiss team, a French team of judges and forensic experts assigned to the murder investigation, and a Russian group invited at the request of the Palestinian Authority. The Russians are expected to disclose their results soon.

The French are not expected to release their results before the murder investigation concludes, according to Al Jazeera.

About Olga Brajnović

Journalist. In my fifties. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US, and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.


Middle East, World and Politics


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