Palestinians seeking ICC investigation of Arafat's death

Senior Fatah official says Palestinians want to bring Israel to trial " for every crime it committed against our people.”

January 18, 2015 20:53
1 minute read.
Yasser Arafat

Late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Palestinians want the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch an investigation into the death of Yasser Arafat, a senior Fatah official announced on Sunday.

Jamal Muheissen, member of the Fatah Central Committee, claimed that Israel was responsible for the death of Arafat, who died in November 2004.

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“This file will be presented to the International Criminal Court,” Muheissen told the Palestinian Shms News Agency. “We want to bring the Israeli occupation to trial for every crime it committed against our people.”

The Fatah official said that Israel was continuing to issue threats against the Palestinian Authority and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas following the ICC’s decision to launch a preliminary examination into alleged war crimes in the Palestinian territories.

“President Abbas is receiving threats from Israel because of his decision to join the International Criminal Court,” Muheissen added. “It’s important for all Palestinians to be united in this political battle against the Israeli occupation.”

Arafat, who signed the 1993 Oslo interim peace accords with Israel but then led an uprising after subsequent talks broke down in 2000, died aged 75.

His death came four weeks after he fell ill following a meal, suffering from vomiting and stomach pains, in his Ramallah compound while surrounded by Israeli tanks.

The official cause of death was a massive stroke, but French doctors said at the time they were unable to determine the origin of his illness. No autopsy was carried out at the time.

International forensic examiners have disputed whether tests provide conclusive evidence over the former Palestinian leader's cause of death.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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