Energy minister Shalom: Israel did not poison Arafat

By REUTERS
November 7, 2013 13:17

JERUSALEM - Israel said on Thursday it did not poison Yasser Arafat, making the denial after the Palestinian leader's widow said Swiss forensic tests had proven he died from radioactive polonium poisoning in 2004.

"We never made a decision to harm him physically," Energy Minister Silvan Shalom, who in 2004 served as foreign minister and as a member of Israel's security cabinet, told Israel Radio.

"In my opinion, this is a tempest in a tea cup. But even if it was (poisoning), it certainly was not Israel. Maybe someone else inside had thoughts or an interest to do it."

In the West Bank, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization issued a new call for an international investigation into Arafat's death.

The Palestinian appeal was made after the Al-Jazeera news channel on Tuesday published a Swiss scientific report based on bone samples taken from his grave last November revealing unusually high levels of the deadly polonium isotope in his body.


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