Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Deep divisions on display as NAFTA renegotiation talks end

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Wildlife Photographer awards highlight effects of poaching, plastic pollution

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Four killed in Togo clashes after religious leader arrested

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Over 300 killed in Somalia's worst ever terror attack

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'Trump is the most powerful unifying force the Democrats could imagine'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'In Marie's name': Elle magazine takes a stand on domestic violence

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'Where is the solidarity for Somalia?'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Liberia's presidential election: Results trickle in as observers give thumbs-up

Read more

THE DEBATE

France's Weinsteins: Watershed moment in fight against sexual abuse?

Read more

Middle east

Israel 'only suspect' in Arafat's death, Palestinian probe says

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-11-08

Palestinian investigators said on Friday that Israel is the “only suspect” in the death of Yasser Arafat, two days after tests carried out on the former Palestinian leader's remains suggested that he may have died from polonium poisoning.

Palestinian investigators said on Friday that Israel is the "only suspect" in the death of president Yasser Arafat, after laboratory tests suggested he died from polonium poisoning.

"We say that Israel is the prime and only suspect in the case of Yasser Arafat's assassination, and we will continue to carry out a thorough investigation to find out and confirm all the details and all elements of the case," Palestinian inquiry chief Tawfiq Tirawi told a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Tirawi said the Palestinian inquiry had studied the findings of Swiss scientists, released Wednesday, which "moderately" supported the notion that Arafat had been poisoned.

"This is the crime of the 21st century," Tirawi said. "The fundamental (goal) is to find out who is behind the liquidation of Yasser Arafat."

Palestinian officials on Thursday demanded an international inquiry into Arafat's "killing".

"The results prove Arafat was poisoned by polonium," said senior Palestine Liberation Organisation official Wasel Abu Yusef.

"This substance is owned by states, not people, meaning that the crime was committed by a state," he told AFP, calling for an "international committee" to probe the killing along the lines of the one that investigated the murder of Lebanon's Rafiq Hariri.

Speaking to reporters in Lausanne Thursday, the Swiss team said the test results neither confirmed nor denied that polonium was the actual source of his death, although they provided "moderate" backing for the idea he was poisoned by the rare and highly radioactive element.

They said the quantity of the deadly substance found on his remains pointed to the involvement of a third party.

"We can't say that polonium was the source of his death... nor can we rule it out," said Professor Francois Bochud of the Lausanne Institute of Applied Radiophysics.

Bochud's lab measured levels of polonium up to 20 times higher than it is used to detecting.

Arafat died in France on November 11, 2004 at the age of 75 after falling sick a month earlier, but doctors were unable to specify the cause of death and no post-mortem was carried out at the time.

In November 2012, his remains were exhumed and samples taken, partly to investigate whether he had been poisoned with polonium – a suspicion that grew after the assassination in that manner of Russian ex-spy and Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006.

Since Arafat's death, Palestinian society has long given currency to the rumour that he was murdered, with Israel the party most often blamed.

But there has never been any proof.

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-11-08

  • PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

    Arafat may have been poisoned, say scientists

    Read more

  • PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY

    Report confirms polonium found on Arafat's clothing

    Read more

  • PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

    Reopening the mystery of Yasser Arafat’s death

    Read more

COMMENT(S)