Assisted by his wife Suha (2nd L) and two aides, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat (R) leaves his West Bank office in Ramallah.—Reuters Photo
Assisted by his wife Suha (2nd L) and two aides, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat (R) leaves his West Bank office in Ramallah.—Reuters Photo

RAMALLAH: Israel poisoned the late Yasser Arafat with the lethal radioactive substance polonium, a nephew of the veteran Palestinian leader alleged on Thursday.

“We accuse Israel of killing Yasser Arafat by poisoning him with that lethal substance,” Nasser al-Qidwa told AFP, referring to polonium, traces of which were recently found on clothing worn by the ailing leader.

“Those responsible for that assassination should be held accountable and judged,” said Qidwa, who is also president of the Yasser Arafat Foundation.

Allegations that the veteran Palestinian leader, who died in a French hospital in November 2004, was poisoned were resurrected earlier this month after Al-Jazeera news channel broadcasted an investigation in which experts said they had found high levels of polonium on his personal effects.

Polonium is a highly-toxic substance which was used to kill former Russian spy turned Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. He died after drinking a cup of tea laced with the substance at a London hotel.

Francois Bochud, head of the Institute of Radiation Physics at the University of Lausanne which conducted the tests, told Al-Jazeera that “significant polonium” had been found on Arafat's effects, but that his remains would need to be tested to confirm the theory that he had been poisoned.

Senior Palestinian officials have said they would agree to an exhumation of the body, which is buried in Ramallah, if the family gave its permission, and Qidwa on Thursday said they would raise no objections.

“The Arafat Foundation contacted the Swiss laboratory and informed them that it had no objection to analysing samples from the body of the late Palestinian president Yasser Arafat if it is necessary,” he said.

At the time of his death, Palestinian officials charged that Arafat, 75, had been poisoned by Israel, but an inconclusive investigation a year later ruled out cancer, Aids or poisoning.

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Comments (13)

Chris Jericko
July 14, 2012 2:00 pm
If they can kill the Christ , so what stops them from poison ing the late Yasser Arafat with the lethal radioactive substance
July 12, 2012 12:34 pm
I'm a believer....especially after the Dubai Operation of 2010 !
Shah Deeldar
July 12, 2012 12:29 pm
For what reason? Poisoning a dying man?
July 12, 2012 8:43 pm
Yeah for sure. Shabak reports mentioned earlier.
Saad (DXB)
July 12, 2012 3:06 pm
No... he was dying because he had been poisoned. He was a champion of the Palestinian cause and was like a wall standing between Israel and her agenda regarding the construction of illegal settlements. In the presence of a strong figure like Arafat who unified all the Palestinians, no Israeli government could construct the illegal settlements on Palestinian Lands at the pace that they are doing now.
Shahriyaz Syeed
July 13, 2012 3:14 pm
I m fan of Yasir Arfat
July 12, 2012 10:01 pm
why didn't they investigate when he was under medical care in France?
911 doneByTheKHAZARS
July 13, 2012 4:24 am
Aurangzeb H. Ch.
July 13, 2012 5:50 am
Yasser Arafat was a great leader,he fought for the cause of Palestine and martyred for the cause of the Palestine, I am his great admirer.
M F Azam
July 14, 2012 1:59 am
Who is going to stop Mossad, CIA M15, French Secret Service... Russian, Chinese....forget it. keep quite.
July 14, 2012 6:59 am
Israel can even kill obama, who can have the power to stop the expansion, power and extremism of Israel. shame on Pakistan, Iran , Saudi Arabia, turkey, Malaysia and all Muslim nations
July 14, 2012 7:52 am
He didn't do what he has to do in the greater interest for his nation!
July 14, 2012 4:08 pm
Israil can kill millions, and no one will say anything.
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