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

Photogallery Belgian Security Measures Foreshadow New Normal for Europe

Rising threat of terrorism, disaffected Muslim populations and open borders, along with refugee, migrant crisis, are creating perfect storm for Europe, which some analysts fear continent is ill-suited to weather

Competing Claims of Responsibility for Mali Hotel Attack

Malian authorities ask public for help in identifying gunmen killed in attack, amid conflicting claims of responsibility from multiple jihadist groups active in the country

Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs