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Arafat''s death: natural causes or poisoning?

By Vision Reporter

Added 9th November 2014 11:40 AM

Did he die naturally or was he poisoned? A look at 10 years of research since the mysterious death of Yasser Arafat.

Arafat''s death: natural causes or poisoning?

Did he die naturally or was he poisoned? A look at 10 years of research since the mysterious death of Yasser Arafat.


RAMALLAH - Did he die naturally or was he poisoned by polonium? A look at 10 years of research since the mysterious death of Yasser Arafat, the Palestinians' iconic national leader.
 
2004
 
November 11: Arafat dies aged 75 at the Percy de Clamart hospital, close to Paris. He was admitted at the end of October after developing stomach pains while at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, where he had lived since December 2001, surrounded by the Israeli army.  
 
Three days after Arafat's death, as rumours began to circulate, the French health minister rules out the possibility of poisoning. 
 
November 22: Nasser al-Qidwa, Arafat's nephew, obtains a copy of his medical dossier, which reveals that no trace of poison was found in the post-mortem. Qidwa refuses to rule out the possibility that his uncle was poisoned.
 
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A Palestinian family lights candles in front of a portrait of late Palestinian leader
 
2012
 
July 3: The poisoning theory resurfaces after Qatari news channel Al-Jazeera airs a documentary on Arafat's death. The programme features the Lausanne Institute of Radiation Physics, which analyses biological samples taken from Arafat's personal belongings given to his widow after his death, and finds "abnormal levels of polonium" -- an extremely radioactive toxin. 
 
July 31: Arafat's widow Suha lodges a complaint at a court in Nanterre, near Paris, claiming that her husband was assassinated. An inquiry is launched in late August. 
 
August 28: Arafat's hospital report, from 14 November 2004, is published. It says Arafat suffered from intestinal inflammation "which had the appearance of an infection" and details "severe" internal bleeding but fails to determine a cause of death.
 
November 27: Arafat's tomb in Ramallah is opened for a few hours allowing three teams of French, Swiss and Russian investigators to collect around 60 samples.
 
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A Palestinian storekeeper displays items bearing portraits of Yasser Arafat
 
2013
 
November 7: Swiss experts judge that the poisoning theory is "more consistent" with their test results, although they stop short of saying categorically that polonium was the cause of death. Scientists in Lausanne, who presented their findings to Suha Arafat and the Palestinian Authority, say they found doses of polonium 20 times the normal level in some of Arafat's samples.
 
Israel again rejects any allegation it was involved in Arafat's death.
 
November 17: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas calls for an international inquiry into his predecessor's death.
 
November 26: Israel's then president Shimon Peres rubbishes the poisoning claims, saying that if Israel wanted Arafat dead "it would have been easier" to shoot him.
 
December 3: Experts tasked by France to probe Arafat's death rule out the poisoning theory. Israel says this is "not a surprise" while the Palestinians remain sceptical. Suha Arafat says she is "shocked" by the different conclusions reached by Swiss and French investigators, adding that she had accused "no one" of poisoning her husband. 
 
December 26: Russian experts rule out all possibility that Arafat was poisoned with polonium. The Swiss team criticises the declaration as "political". 
 
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An elderly Palestinian man walks past a mural of Yasser Arafat in the West Bank city of Ramallah
 
AFP

 

Arafat''s death: natural causes or poisoning?

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