PA again accuses Israel of 'assassinating' Arafat

11 years later, the head of the PA team investigating Arafat's death claims Israel assassinated him but won't provide details.

Ben Ariel,

Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Flash 90

The head of the Palestinian Arab team looking into the death of former chairman Yasser Arafat on Tuesday again accused Israel of assassinating the former leader in a Paris hospital, AFP reported.

His comments came on the eve of the 11th anniversary of Arafat's death and two months after French judges closed an investigation into claims he was murdered, without bringing any charges.

"The inquiry committee has been able to identify the assassin of former president Yasser Arafat," claimed Tawfiq Tirawi, the head of the probe opened in 2009.

"Israel is responsible," he declared, though he would not provide further details other than to add that "we still need some time to elucidate the exact circumstances of this assassination".

Arafat died in Percy military hospital near Paris aged 75 in November 2004 after developing stomach pains while at his headquarters in Ramallah.

His widow Suha lodged a complaint at a court in France in 2012, claiming that her husband was assassinated, sparking an inquiry.

The same year, Arafat's tomb in Ramallah was opened for a few hours allowing three teams of French, Swiss and Russian investigators to collect around 60 samples.

Suha Arafat allowed investigators to exhume her husband’s body after traces of polonium-210 were found on clothing that she provided to scientists as part of an Al Jazeera documentary.

Following the investigation by the Swiss team, PA officials were quick to say that the findings proved that Arafat had been “assassinated” and, as expected, blamed Israel for the “assassination.”

But a French inquiry into the death of the Nobel Prize winner closed their case in September without bringing any charges, as did a previous Russian probe.

Suha Arafat is appealing the French decision, noted AFP.




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