News / Europe

French Prosecutors Open Probe Into Arafat's Death

Woman passes near section of Israel's separation barrier depicting Yasser Arafat near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Aug. 8, 2012.
Woman passes near section of Israel's separation barrier depicting Yasser Arafat near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Aug. 8, 2012.
VOA News
French prosecutors have opened a probe into the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat eight years ago.
 
Judicial sources say the probe was launched following a complaint last month from Arafat's widow, Suha Arafat, that he may have died from polonium poisoning.
 
The complaint was filed after a Swiss physics institute said it found abnormal traces of polonium, a radioactive substance, on Arafat's belongings. 
 
Palestinian officials welcomed the decision to open the probe.
 
Arafat died at age 75 at a military hospital near Paris in 2004. He had been taken there after falling ill at his compound in the West Bank town of Ramallah. Doctors who treated him at the hospital said they could not establish a cause of death.
 
Polonium is a toxic substance rarely found outside military and scientific areas. It was used to kill former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 29, 2012 1:48 PM
Is this a way to indict, directly or indirectly, Russia first and foremost since it has been first alleged to have used it to eliminate someone branded risk to the country? What is the purpose of exhuming the dead and suspecting 8 years away that France was so backward to have carried out a credible autopsy? The whole scenario plays like a set up. Who is whipping up this dead matter and what does he want to achieve? These questions are pertinent because nothing happens in the Middle East without those involved thinking how to rope the common enemies - Israel and USA.

Whoever is beating this war drum must be a trouble maker. People do die and at any age. Arafat died, so what? Has his death in any way helped the matter in the region? Why does anyone think that someone wanted him out, after all nothing has changed since his exit, except there's internal power tussle? This is the handiwork of blackmailers. It only points to those who carried out the 'killing' trying to blackmail their principal for 'failing' to live up the terms of their agreement. Whatever the result of the new examinations, an independent investigator should be drafted to find out what immediate and/or remote links have generated this new interest, whether or not it involves Arafat's widow - may have been shortchanged by the arrangements latest developments.

by: umish from: usa
August 29, 2012 1:38 PM
In response to the editor of der strurmer article above, mr John WV. Must be nice to be a member of the Nazi party, thinking that Jews are always behind everything evil in the world. Not much has changed with you Birchers and KKKer's... You are so envious of their supposed ability to control the world, you can see past the nose on your face. Arafat was a roach in the world of evil terrorists killing indiscriminantly. No matter who knocked off arafat, they did the world a favor.. juas as the seals did in bin laden, Besides it could just have been easy for one of Fatah to kill him too because of the money he embezzled and the illicit affairs he had. He was an embarrasment to Fatah... And then again there is Hamas... they had good reason to knock him off... SO who do you blame the Jews./..... As i said, Nazi member.

by: Peter from: DC
August 29, 2012 12:28 PM
I completely support the probe into the death of Yasser Arafat 8 years ago, and hope that further news will be posted as and when it becomes available.

I followed the reports of the death of Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006, I didn’t know why either the tracking reports from VOA or the probe by British government stopped short one day.

by: JohnWV from: USA
August 29, 2012 11:53 AM
Believing Americans have fallen victim to Israel's Mossad assassins comes easily. Our entire electoral system has been corrupted by Netanyahu's Israel, AIPAC, Israel Firsters and ingenious distribution of enormous amounts of Jewish money. Our representative democracy is nearly defeated and the destruction of America as we know it well underway. Termination of the criminal treachery and treason demands immediate priority. The Government of the United States must again serve American interests, not the Jewish state's relentless pursuit of invulnerability, territorial conquest and apartheid supremacist empire in, and beyond, the Mideast.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs