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

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    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.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.