Swiss, French and Russian experts have missed their deadline for delivering the
results of tests conducted on the remains of Yasser Arafat to determine the
causes of his death, the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper reported
The newspaper said that the Lausanne Medical Center in Geneva
had promised to hand over the results of the tests to the Palestinian Authority
by mid-September, but as yet has not done so.
sources told the newspaper that there was fear among the Palestinians that the
delay was the result of an “official decision” to procrastinate. Forensic
investigators from the three countries took samples from Arafat’s body last
November for tests to determine whether he had been poisoned by polonium – a
toxic, radioactive element found on some of his personal
Palestinian officials expressed fear that the Arafat death
probe has entered the process of a “differential calculus” between Western and
Russian intelligence agencies, in wake of the Syria crisis and the resumption of
peace talks between Israel and the PA.
The officials said that the delay
may be designed to prevent the emergence of any issues that could have a
negative impact on the peace talks.
The delay may also be aimed at
avoiding diverting attention from the internal fighting in Syria, they
The officials also expressed fear that some Western
intelligence agencies had intervened to block the delivery of the test results
“in light of ongoing Palestinian allegations that Israel was behind Arafat’s
Tawkif Tirawi, head of the Palestinian inquiry commission into
Arafat’s death, refused to comment on the report about the delay. He only said
that his commission was in contact with the forensic experts who took Arafat’s
samples. Tirawi added that there were no hurdles hindering the publication of
the test results.