The Palestinian Authority will open a new investigation into the death of former
PLO chairman Yasser Arafat “if necessary,” PA President Mahmoud Abbas said on
Following a meeting with French President François Hollande in
Paris, Abbas said the two men discussed reported developments in Arafat’s death,
according to an AFP report. The PA wants to see if there are any new elements
regarding the circumstances of Arafat’s death, Abbas said.
Earlier in the
week, the PA agreed to the exhumation of Yasser Arafat’s body after new
allegations arose that he was poisoned with the radioactive element polonium-210
A Swiss institute that examined clothing provided by Arafat’s
widow, Suha, as part of an Al Jazeera exposé said it found “surprisingly” high
levels of polonium-210, though symptoms described in the late leader’s medical
reports were not consistent with the radioactive agent.
administration said it would approve Suha Arafat’s request to bring Arafat’s
remains up for autopsy from his limestone mausoleum in Ramallah.
findings stirred up old Palestinian suspicions that Israel was behind the death
of the 75-year-old it had shunned after peace talks collapsed into bloodshed in
Long ill, Arafat was airlifted to a military hospital in France
where he died on November 11, 2004. French doctors who treated him in his final
days said they could not establish the cause of death. French officials, citing
privacy laws, refused to give details of the nature of his
Polonium, apparently ingested with food, was found to have
caused the slow death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in London in
Israel has denied involvement in Arafat’s death and the head of the
Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) at the time, Avi Dichter, on Wednesday said
the onus was on the Palestinians.