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Committee finds that Arafat was poisoned

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Committee finds that Arafat was poisoned

A medical committee finds that Arafat was indeed poisoned, the Jerusalem Post counters that the reports are meant to frame Israel

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah (AFP file photo)
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah (AFP file photo)

The medical investigation committee responsible for investigating the death of Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat confirmed on Thursday that the deceased leader had died as a result of being poisoned.

Head of the medical investigation committee, D. Abdallah Al-Bashir, told Al-Jazeera there was tangible proof Arafat was poisoned, according to MENA news agency.

On Wednesday, the Palestinian leader’s widow, Suha Arafat, announced she was filing a lawsuit in Paris to figure out the real cause of her husband’s death, according to her lawyer who was cited by Reuters.

“I want the world to know the truth about the assassination of Yasser Arafat,” she told Al-Jazeera.

However, Suha Arafat has not named any organizations or suspects who could be responsible of her husband’s killing.

A nine-month long investigative report conducted by Al-Jazeera suggested last week that Yasser Arafat had been poisoned prior to his death. Mrs. Arafat called for her husband’s body to be exhumed and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas agreed to allow an examination of Yassar Arafat’s body.

The investigation, conducted at the Institute of Radiation Physics at the University of Lausanne, concluded many of Arafat’s belongings, handed over by his wife, contained traces of large amounts of the radioactive element polonium-210.

Polonium has a history of being used in political assassinations. Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian spy who had ties to opposition groups in Russia, died after polonium was put into his food in a London restaurant, allegedly by a Russian  intelligence operative.

Nevertheless, the Jerusalem Post report countered possible claims that Arafat died in the same manner as Litvinenko. The Israeli newspaper reported that the polonium used to assassinate the Russian spy contaminated several people close to him as well, infecting his workplace, children, and friends.

According to the Post, Arafat’s clothes and belongings were contaminated after his death, to create a pretext to re-hash over eight years worth of rumours of foul play.

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