PA to publish report on Arafat’s death by year’s end

Former PA foreign minister says majority of Palestinians, Arabs convinced Arafat was “poisoned by Israeli parties.”

November 11, 2011 05:50
1 minute read.
Images of Yasser Arafat, Abbas in Bethlehem

A SIGN displaying the images of Yasser Arafat, Abbas. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)


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The Palestinian Authority will release the medical report concerning the death seven years ago of PLO chairman Yasser Arafat before the end of the year, one of his nephews, Nasser al-Qidwa, announced on Thursday.

“The report will accurately answer many questions raised by the Palestinian people,” said Qidwa, a former Palestinian Authority foreign minister. “The Palestinians are entitled to a conclusive answer about the death of president Arafat and it’s our duty to provide them with an answer.”

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Qidwa claimed that a majority of Palestinians and Arabs were convinced that Arafat did not die of natural causes, but was “poisoned by Israeli parties.” He also claimed that there were “many indications and signs” to back up the charge against Israel.

Arafat died in a French military hospital on November 11, 2004, following a mysterious illness.

Unconfirmed reports have suggested that Arafat may have died of AIDS.

Qidwa said that the French authorities have yet to provide further details concerning the circumstances surrounding Arafat’s death.

He also dismissed claims by senior PA leaders that former Fatah official Mohammed Dahlan had allegedly assisted Israel in the “poisoning” of Arafat.

“We shouldn’t use our internal differences for political gains against any Palestinian party,” Qidwa said. “Israel alone is responsible and that’s how the case should remain.”

Earlier this year, Fatah officials in Ramallah accused Dahlan of involvement in the “poisoning” of Arafat. The charges came at the peak of a dispute between Dahlan and PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Dahlan has since been expelled from Fatah, and Abbas loyalists are demanding that he be brought to trial for his alleged complicity in Arafat’s death and financial corruption.

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