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Al Jazeera claims Russian experts dismiss theory of Arafat’s death from polonium

November 08, 2013, 23:42 UTC+3
Thursday, Swiss experts who had taken part in the tests carried out in Lausanne, said the probability of Arafat’s death through poisoning with polonium was extremely high
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EPA/GERRY PENNY

EPA/GERRY PENNY

TEL AVIV, November 8 (Itar-Tass) - Russian experts have dismissed as erroneous the hypothesis suggesting that the legendary Palestinian military and political leader, Yasser Arafat, died nine years ago as a result of poisoning with radioactive polonium-210, Al Jazeera satellite channel claimed Friday quoting a copy of a report by the Russian Federal Medical and Biological Agency that the Jazeera correspondents had allegedly obtained.

“The results of the research may be linked to a considerable period of time that elapsed from the moment that polonium might have gotten into the subject’s / Arafat’s/ body and until the moment that the tests were done,” the channel said quoting a 15-page report.

Thursday, Swiss experts who had taken part in the tests carried out in Lausanne, said the probability of Arafat’s death through poisoning with polonium was extremely high.

Yasser Arafat died November 11, 2004, at the Percy Military Training Hospital near Paris. November 26, 2012, his remains were exhumed from a mausoleum in Ramallah in the West Bank of the Jordan.

The body of the Palestinian leader was again interred on the same day right after the Russian, French and Swiss experts had taken samples of tissues.

The tests were necessitated by the suggestions that Arafat had been killed purportedly and the version about his poisoning with radioactive polonium was one of the most frequently mentioned theories.

Tawfik Terawi, the head of the Palestinian committee probing into the causes of Arafat’s death told a special news conference in Ramallah earlier in the day the results of research by Swiss and Russian experts testified to the fact that Arafat had not died of either of age or of illness and his death had not been natural.

The Russian and Swiss reports confirmed conclusions of the investigation that was still in progress, Terawi said.

He spoke in Ramallah the day after the Swiss investigators said in Lausanne high concentrations of polonium had been found in Arafat’s remains. Also, Terawi said that Israel was “the prime, fundamental, and only suspect in the case of Yasser Arafat’s assassination.”

Israel denies any accusations of involvement in the death of the former Palestinian leader, however. Israeli officials have said that the then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon issued a special order to refrain from doing any damage to Arafat.

According to the official version circulated by French physicians in 2004, Arafat died because of a proliferative hemorrhage of the brain caused by intensive internal bleeding due to an unidentified infection.

A decision to exhume his grave was taken at the request of his widow Suha, which she had filed in connection with the emergence of tentative evidence that her husband might have been poisoned with highly toxic radioactive polonium-210.

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