Haniyeh: PA Negligent on Arafat's 'Murder'

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh accuses PA of negligence in investigating the death of former PA Chairman Yasser Arafat.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat

Hamas’ de facto Prime Minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, accused the Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas of negligence in dealing with the investigation of the death of former PA Chairman Yasser Arafat.

Speaking on Thursday during a graduation ceremony of officers at the Gaza Interior Ministry, Haniyeh said, “Our claim is that the operation [of Arafat’s death –ed.] was planned and that it was murder, and therefore there is no choice other than launching an investigation to track down the criminals who facilitated the enemy in poisoning President Abu Ammar (Yasser Arafat) and killing him that way.”

Haniyeh emphasized the importance of uncovering the facts in the Arafat “murder” case and said that Hamas supports exhuming Arafat's remains in order to “reach those dirty people who assisted in the murder.”

Earlier this week, it was reported that Swiss laboratory findings suggest Arafat’s 2004 death may have been the result of radiation poisoning.

"If (Suha Arafat) really wants to know what happened to her husband (we need) to find a sample - I mean, an exhumation... should provide us with a sample that should have a very high quantity of polonium if he was poisoned," Francois Bochud, head of the Institute of Radiation Physics at the University of Lausanne, told Al-Jazeera.

Arafat's widow, Suha, called for the autopsy after Bochud's discovered elevated levels of Polonium-210 in fluid samples found on belongings the former PA leader is said to have used in his final days. The Swiss lab that conducted the tests did so at her request.

On Friday, Lebanon's Al-Miadin television broadcast a copy of a video tape in which an Arab security prisoner from the Palestinian Authority claims he was recruited by Israel's security services to poison Arafat.

In the tape, and Arab prisoner says Israeli intelligence recruited him to assassinate Arafat for them.

However, Amir Rappaport of the Israel Defense website published an account of Arafat’s final days as told by Israeli officials. The account said that Israel allowed Arafat to be released from his Ramallah compound and be flown to France, where he received treatment for complications of leukemia.

While Arafat’s condition began to improve under French care, Israeli sources reported that French doctors then tried a dramatic procedure – a total blood transfusion, in which all of Arafat’s blood was replaced with donor blood. Arafat went into a coma during the procedure and never woke up. He died on November 2011, 2004, and was buried in Ramallah.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)