JERUSALEM, December 26, 22:31 /ITAR-TASS/. Israel hails the conclusion of Russian scientists stating that the former Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, died of natural causes, Israeli Foreign Ministry’s official spokesman Igal Palmor told Itar-Tass.
Earlier, the director of Russia’s Federal Medico-Biological Agency, Vladimir Uiba, said in a summary of the results of an expert study of Arafat’s tissues that death had been triggered by natural causes and no re-examination was needed.
“We’re through with the research and everyone agrees with our results,” Uiba said. “There was an ambitious Swiss statement but they withdrew it and agreed with our conclusions, saying they confirmed them.”
“That’s an absolutely correct research and no repetitions are needed - in other words, the person died a natural death and he wasn’t exposed to any irradiation effects in the final run,” he said.
The results of the Russian testing are not at all surprising and the Israelis now hope the report submitted by the Federal Medico-Biological Agency combined with the report by French experts will put period to the “weird theories” of conspiracy and groundless assertions around the story with radioactive Polonium-210.
Yasser Arafat died November 11, 2004, at the Percy military hospital near Paris at the age of 75. Official statements issued by French physicians said his death had been caused by a massive stroke produced by a strong internal bleeding resultant from an unknown infection.
Somewhat later, however, mass media circulated reports alleging that Arafat might have been poisoned with radioactive Polonium-210. A year ago, Arafat’s remain were exhumed in the mausoleum in Ramallah at the request of his widow and about 60 test fragments were taken from them.
The testing material was distributed among the three groups of researchers - the Swiss, French and Russian.
Swiss specialists from the Radiophysics Institute in Lausanne said later on they had found traces of radioactive polonium in the tissues of the Palestinian leader. They said the doze of the substance exceeded the norm by the factor of 18 as a minimum.
However, the French experts refuted the Swiss hypothesis of Arafat’s radioactive poisoning. They said their tests showed that Arafat had died strictly due to the impact of natural causes.