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Did Arafat die of AIDS, poisoning, or something else?
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Did Arafat die of AIDS,
poisoning, or something else?

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Al-Jazeera reported this week that a Swiss lab hired to examine the clothes of Yasser Arafat found high levels of radioactive polonium. According to Al-Jazeera, while the findings are not conclusive, it could indicate that Arafat may have been poisoned. [http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/whatkilledarafat/2012/07/20127413371805105.html]

Yasser Arafat died in November 2004 in a hospital in Paris after being treated for an unnamed illness. The French hospital never publicly disclosed the cause of death and the Palestinian Authority never released the medical records it received from the hospital.

In 2007, Ahmad Jibril, head of the PFLP-GC (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command) told Al-Manar TV (Hezbollah) that at a meeting with PA Chairman Abbas, he was told by one of the delegation that the French medical report concluded that Arafat died of AIDS:

"When [PA Chairman] Mahmoud Abbas came to Damascus, I asked: "What was found in the [medical] inquiry of the death of brother Arafat?" One [of the delegation] said: "Frankly, the French gave us the medical report, and the cause of Arafat's death was AIDS."
[Al-Manar (Hezbollah TV), July 5, 2007]

Click to view


This statement was never reported to the Palestinian public.

According to the new Al-Jazeera report, the doctors who treated Arafat when he was sick, still today refuse to release any information, some saying the information related to his death is a "military secret":
"The Swiss doctors had hoped to study the blood and urine samples taken from Arafat while he was at Percy Military Hospital in France. But when she [Suha Arafat] requested access, the hospital told his widow that those samples had been destroyed. 'I was not satisfied with that answer,' Ms. Arafat said. 'Usually a very important person, like Yasser, they would keep traces - maybe they don't want to be involved in it?' Several of the doctors who treated Arafat said that they were not allowed to discuss his case - even with Ms. Arafat's permission - because it was considered a 'military secret.' And most of his onetime doctors in Cairo and Tunis refused requests for interviews as well."
[http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/whatkilledarafat/2012/07/20127413371805105.html]

While refusing to allow access to the medical report that would describe his illness, senior PA sources consistently have blamed Israel for poisoning Arafat.

At a PLO cultural celebration in the presence of the PA Minister of Culture, a child on stage performed a skit comparing Arafat's death to the death of Jesus by the Jews.

Boy 1: "Father, father the Elder (Arafat). Why did it happen this way? Why did it happen this way? Death chose you, and you did not complete the path."
Boy 2: "Do not ask why it happened this way. Yesterday they (i.e., the Jews) crucified Jesus; today they poisoned the father, the Elder (Arafat)."
[PA TV, June 4, 2010, Dec. 31, 2010]

Click to view

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Yasser Arafat Institute, Nasser Al-Qidwa, said last year:

"We shall neither tire nor grow weary... of the demand to receive an answer concerning the Martyrdom-death of our commander [Arafat], who was poisoned by Israel. We are convinced of this, but we want proof, and we want to submit the murderers and criminals to justice."
[PA TV (Fatah), Nov. 16, 2011]

To give credence to the poisoning story, the PA has reported on an international intrigue in which Israel initiated the murder plan, the US approved it with certain conditions, and the French doctors who treated Arafat concealed the truth in order to salvage the peace process.

Click to view this and the entire history of the "Israel killed Arafat" libel on PMW's website.


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