Yasser Arafat Poisoning: Palestinian Leader Died of Polonium Poisoning, Tests Show
New research suggests the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat did not die a natural death but was instead poisoned with polonium, a rare and highly radioactive element.
Arafat died at a hospital in France in 2004, after a sudden illness that baffled doctors. Many Palestinians have long suspected he was poisoned.
According to a nine-month investigation kicked off by Al-Jazeera, those assumptions may have been correct, as recent tests on Arafat’s personal effects, including his clothes, toothbrush and kaffiyeh (head scarf), have found unusually high levels of the radioactive substance.
“The conclusion was that we did find some significant polonium-210 that was present in these samples,” Francois Bochud, head of the Institut de Radiophysique in Lausanne, Switzerland, told Al-Jazeera today.
While Bochud did not specify how high the levels of polonium were or what level would be dangerous, he did explain the only the only way to confirm that Arafat died of poisoning would be to exhume the late leader’s body and test it.
“But we have to do it quite fast because polonium is decaying, so if we wait too long, for sure, any possible proof will disappear,” he told Al Jazeera.
The Palestinian Authority has no objections to having Arafat’s body exhumed and tested by reliable scientific authorities if his family approves, spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said.
In addition to the poisoning findings, the lengthy Al Jazeera investigation also suggests that Arafat was in good health until he suddenly fell ill on October 12, 2004, countering rumors he was infected with HIV.
CNN has more on the Yasser Arafat polonium poisoning in the video below:
via USA Today