Palestinians to petition ICC if Yasser Arafat poisoning proved

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Palestine
Tuesday, 27 November 2012


yasir arafatHead of the Palestinian commission investigating Arafat's death, Tawfiq Tirawi, made the remark at a press conference on Tuesday several hours after the Palestinian leader's remains were exhumed by a team of international experts as part of an investigation into how he died.

"We will wait for the results of the investigation," he said. "We are not accusing anyone so far but regardless of the result, we will continue looking for the truth" about how he died.

According to Palestinian sources, Arafat's body was not removed from the grave during the collection of the samples to establish whether his death in Paris in 2004 was the result of poisoning. Only a Palestinian doctor had been allowed to directly touch the remains and collect the samples, AFP reported.

Scientists from France, Russia and Switzerland, who were present during the process of taking samples, will carry out tests for polonium-210 and possibly other lethal substances in their respective countries.

It is believed that the investigation could take several months. Many Palestinians believe that Israel's spy agency, Mossad, poisoned Arafat with a radioactive element.

The exhumation comes after French authorities opened a murder inquiry into Arafat’s death this year after Swiss scientists found traces of polonium, a radioactive substance, on some of his belongings. Polonium is a highly toxic substance rarely found outside military and scientific circles.

The inquiry was launched after Arafat's widow, Suha Arafat, lodged a formal legal complaint.

Arafat died at age 75 at a Paris military hospital after he suffered a brain hemorrhage and slipped into a coma. At the time, French authorities refused to reveal the exact cause of his death on grounds of privacy laws, fueling rumors that Israeli intelligence agents had poisoned him.

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"If it is proved that Arafat was poisoned, we will go to the international court," Tirawi said, referring to ICC.

"We will wait for the results of the investigation," he said. "We are not accusing anyone so far but regardless of the result, we will continue looking for the truth" about how he died.

According to Palestinian sources, Arafat's body was not removed from the grave during the collection of the samples to establish whether his death in Paris in 2004 was the result of poisoning. Only a Palestinian doctor had been allowed to directly touch the remains and collect the samples, AFP reported.

Scientists from France, Russia and Switzerland, who were present during the process of taking samples, will carry out tests for polonium-210 and possibly other lethal substances in their respective countries.

It is believed that the investigation could take several months. Many Palestinians believe that Israel's spy agency, Mossad, poisoned Arafat with a radioactive element.

The exhumation comes after French authorities opened a murder inquiry into Arafat’s death this year after Swiss scientists found traces of polonium, a radioactive substance, on some of his belongings. Polonium is a highly toxic substance rarely found outside military and scientific circles.

The inquiry was launched after Arafat's widow, Suha Arafat, lodged a formal legal complaint.

Arafat died at age 75 at a Paris military hospital after he suffered a brain hemorrhage and slipped into a coma. At the time, French authorities refused to reveal the exact cause of his death on grounds of privacy laws, fueling rumors that Israeli intelligence agents had poisoned him.

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