News / Middle East

Palestinian Investigator: Israel 'Only Suspect' in Arafat's Death

Swiss Confirm Polonium in Arafat's Remainsi
X
November 08, 2013 5:43 AM
Swiss forensic scientists have confirmed that the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat ingested lethal radioactive polonium before his death nine years ago - at such high levels that it could not have been an accident.

Swiss Confirm Polonium in Arafat's Remains

Scott Bobb
— Amid scientific revelations this week that their late leader, Yasser Arafat, may have died by poisoning, Palestinian officials said Friday they suspect Israel was behind the plot. But Israeli officials deny the charge.
 
The head of the Palestinian committee investigating the death of Yasser Arafat told reporters (Friday) that the long-time Palestinian leader’s death nine years ago was not from natural causes.
 
Former Palestinian Intelligence Chief Tawfiq Tirawi was reacting to a Swiss study of Arafat’s remains that found he might have been poisoned.

He says the core issue is to find out who stands behind the death of Arafat and who has the technical and scientific means to carry out the plot. And, he says, the Palestinian committee considers Israel to be the first and only suspect in the assassination.
 
Israeli officials vehemently denied the charge. Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesman Yigal Palmor said the Palestinians have no proof.
 
"I want to say this as clearly as I can: Israel did not kill [Yasser] Arafat, period. It's as simple as that. There is nothing more to it. We have nothing to do with it," he said.
 
Arafat died in 2004 at the age of 75 after being flown in poor health to Europe from the West Bank. He had been under siege in Ramallah by Israeli forces because of terrorist attacks in what is known as the Second Intifada.
 
Many Palestinians believe he was poisoned by a dose of the radioactive element polonium. Polonium is rare and hard to detect. It was allegedly used in the murder of a former Russian secret agent in Britain seven years ago.
 
Arafat’s widow, last year, agreed to allow her husband’s remains to be exhumed as part of an investigation into his death. Forensic teams from Russia, France and Switzerland conducted separate studies of the samples.
 
Results from the French study have not been released. Arafat’s personal physician, Abdallah Bashir, said the Russian study did not find evidence of the radioactive substance.
 
He says the Russian team concluded that the comprehensive report did not give sufficient evidence to support the finding that Polonium-210 caused acute radiation syndrome leading to death.
 
Polonium decays rapidly and many specialists doubt that enough traces of it could be found in Arafat’s grave so long after his death.
 
But the Swiss investigators said the traces they found were 18 times higher than normal. As a result they said there was what they called moderate support for the theory that he was poisoned.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid