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Yasser Arafat poisoned with Polonium, Palestinian leader

 
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:18 am    Post subject: Yasser Arafat poisoned with Polonium, Palestinian leader Reply with quote

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Palestinian officials raised the prospect of exhuming Yasser Arafat's body yesterday after a Swiss laboratory said it had discovered an "unexplained" level of the radioactive element polonium on personal belongings of the late President.

The discovery during a nine-month investigation by the Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera could prove the most plausible evidence yet to fuel long-standing but uncorroborated rumours among many Palestinians that Yasser Arafat was poisoned.

The potentially deadly element – the same one blamed for the 2006 death in London of the former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko – was discovered among personal effects, including clothes and a toothbrush, given to the network by Suha Arafat, the late Palestinian leader's widow.


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/was-arafat-killed- by-radioactive-poison-7912693.html
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The original report

Abbas calls for Arafat death investigation
07/05/2012 03:14:27 AM
http://me.aljazeera.net/?name=aj_standard_en&i=8784&guid=2012749495349 0367
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, sees no reason why Yasser Arafat's body should not be exhumed following an Al Jazeera report that he may have died of poisoning, his spokesman said on Wednesday.
Nabil Abu Rudeinah said that the Palestinian Authority would use "Arab and international scientific expertise" to review the findings.
A nine-month investigation by Al Jazeera found that Arafat's final belongings - his clothes, his toothbrush, even his iconic kaffiyeh - contained elevated levels of polonium, a rare, highly radioactive element.
Scientists at the Institut de Radiophysique in Lausanne, Switzerland, who studied Arafat's personal items, said that his bones could offer more conclusive evidence that he was poisoned.
"There are no political or religious reasons that prevent researching this issue," Abu Rudeinah said, "including the exhumation of Arafat's body by a reliable and trustworthy medical and scientific authority."
Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, also called for an international committee to study Arafat's death, similar to the one investigating the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005.
"[It] is a must," Erekat told Al Jazeera. "And we will do it first through the United Nations Security Council. We hope everyone will co-operate with us, because we seek the truth and nothing but the truth."
Speaking to Al Jazeera on Wednesday, Suha Arafat, wife of the late Palestinian leader, said the exhumation should take place as soon as possible.
Unsupported polonium
The institute studied Arafat’s personal effects, which his widow provided to Al Jazeera, the first time they had been examined by a laboratory. The items were variously stained with Arafat's blood, sweat, saliva and urine; doctors used those biological samples to look for heavy metals and other poisons.
“I can confirm to you that we measured an unexplained, elevated amount of unsupported polonium-210 in the belongings of Mr. Arafat that contained stains of biological fluids,” said Dr. Francois Bochud, the director of the institute.
It is a highly radioactive element used, among other things, to power spacecraft. Marie Curie discovered it in 1898, and her daughter Irene was among the first people it killed: She died of leukaemia several years after an accidental polonium exposure in her laboratory.
At least two people connected with Israel’s nuclear programme also reportedly died after exposure to the element, according to the limited literature on the subject.
But polonium’s most famous victim was Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian spy-turned-dissident who died in London in 2006 after a lingering illness. A British inquiry found that he was poisoned with polonium slipped into his tea at a sushi restaurant.
There is little scientific consensus about the symptoms of polonium poisoning, mostly because there are so few recorded cases. Litvinenko suffered severe diarrhoea, weight loss, and vomiting, all of which were symptoms Arafat exhibited in the days and weeks after he initially fell ill.
Animal studies have found similar symptoms, which lingered for weeks - depending on the dosage – until the subject died. “The primary radiation target… is the gastrointestinal tract,” said an American study conducted in 1991, “activating the 'vomiting centre' in the brain-stem.”
Scientists in Lausanne found elevated levels of the element on Arafat’s belongings - in some cases, they were ten times higher than those on control subjects, random samples which were tested for comparison.
The lab’s results were reported in millibecquerels (mBq), a scientific unit used to measure radioactivity.
Polonium is present in the atmosphere, but the natural levels that accumulate on surfaces barely register, and the element disappears quickly. Polonium-210, the isotope found on Arafat's belongings, has a half-life of 138 days, meaning that half of the substance decays roughly every four-and-a-half months.
“Even in case of a poisoning similar to the Litvinenko case, only traces of the order of a few [millibecquerels] were expected to be found in [the] year 2012,” the institute noted in its report to Al Jazeera.
But Arafat’s personal effects, particularly those with bodily fluids on them, registered much higher levels of the element. His toothbrushes had polonium levels of 54mBq; the urine stain on his underwear, 180mBq. (Another man’s pair of underwear, used as a control, measured just 6.7mBq.)
Further tests, conducted over a three-month period from March until June, concluded that most of that polonium – between 60 and 80 per cent, depending on the sample – was “unsupported,” meaning that it did not come from natural sources.
“We got into this very, very painful conclusion, but at least this removes this great burden on me, on my chest,” Suha Arafat said. “At least I’ve done something to explain to the Palestinian people, to the Arab and Muslim generation all over the world, that it was not a natural death, it was a crime.”
A conclusive finding that Arafat was poisoned with polonium would not, of course, explain who killed him. It is a difficult element to produce, though – it requires a nuclear reactor – and the signature of the polonium in Arafat’s bones could provide some insight about its origin.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:33 pm    Post subject: Yasser Arafat Reply with quote

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/10/c_131706845.htm


Palestinians pressured not to seek international probe into Arafat's death

English.news.cn 2012-07-10 18:54:05
Quote:

RAMALLAH, July 10 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinians' efforts to launch an international probe into the 2004 death of ex-leader Yasser Arafat face serious obstacles, a Palestinian official said Tuesday.

The obstacles stem from the opposition by some countries including the United States and France, the official said on condition of anonymity.

The United States has put pressure on the Palestinian leadership not to seek such an investigation because it can lead to some negative consequences on the Middle East peace process, which has been stalled since 2010, according to the official.

The amount of pressure mounted on the Palestinian leaders might foil their efforts to stage an international probe into Arafat's death, the official added.

The debate about ex-leader's death renewed last week after Arab satellite channel al-Jazeera aired an investigative report indicating that Arafat was poisoned with toxic radioactive polonium.

Arafat died three weeks after arriving at a French hospital near Paris in November 2004. No conclusive reason was given for his death. Before airlifted to France, Arafat had been ill for more than two years, confined by Israel in his West Bank headquarters.

On Monday, the Palestinian leadership asked Swiss scientists to come to the West Bank and take samples of Arafat's remains for additional tests.

The experts are from the Lausanne-based Institute of Radiation Physics, which al-Jazeera hired for testing Arafat's personal belongings.

Following al-Jazeera's report, the Palestinian leaders said they have no problem exhuming Arafat's body from his West Bank grave if his family requests more tests to be done on his remains.


http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/09/c_131704262.htm

Palestinians invite Swiss experts to take samples of Arafat's remains
English.news.cn 2012-07-09 18:08:58
Quote:
• The PNA invited Swiss experts to take samples of Arafat's remains for more tests.
• The Palestinian leadership presented no conclusive reason for Arafat's death.
• Arafat's family has asked for the exhumation.



RAMALLAH, July 9 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) invited Swiss experts to the West Bank to take samples of late President Yasser Arafat's remains for more tests.

"This reflects the Palestinian leadership's insistence to continue the investigations into the truth and the circumstances of Arafat's death," said Saeb Erekat, a senior member of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

The invitation was sent to the Lausanne-based Institute of Radiation Physics, which examined Arafat's personal belongings and discovered amounts of the radioactive element polonium.

Erekat said the Palestinian side was waiting for the Swiss experts to set up an appointment for their mission.

The testing of Arafat's belongings occurred as part of an instigative report produced by al-Jazeera satellite channel and broadcasted last week, eight years after Arafat's death at a hospital in France.

The Palestinian leadership presented no conclusive reason for Arafat's death amid numerous reports that he was poisoned.

Following al-Jazeera's report, the PNA said it has no problem exhuming Arafat's body from his West Bank grave for more tests if his family requests such an action.

Erekat said that Arafat's family has asked for the exhumation, adding that President Mahmoud Abbas ordered to invite the Swiss scientists and collect the samples.


http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/05/c_131697980.htm

Israeli officials deny Arafat poisoning rumors

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/04/c_131695248.htm

PNA to exhume Arafat's remains for examination

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/28/france-yasser-arafat-death -murder

Quote:
France opens murder inquiry into Yasser Arafat's death

Public prosecutor will try to establish if Arafat was poisoned with polonium-210

French prosecutors have opened a murder inquiry into the death of the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Paris in 2004, to determine whether he could have been poisoned with radioactive polonium-210.


Why the French? Because they've been so good with Diana, AZF/SNPE, Gaddafi, Rainbow Warrior ?
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/24/yasser-arafat-body-exhumed -tests
Quote:

The remains of the former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat are to be exhumed to examine whether he was poisoned.

Arafat died in November 2004 in a military hospital in Paris, a month after suddenly falling ill. His medical records put the cause of death as a stroke resulting from a blood disorder.

But Palestinian officials have long claimed he was poisoned by Israel and French authorities began a murder inquiry in August following the detection of traces of the lethal radioactive substance polonium-210 on Arafat's clothing. Those tests were inconclusive, and experts said they need to check his remains to learn more.

Swiss, French and Russian experts will take samples from Arafat's bones on Tuesday, said Tawfik Tirawi, who heads the Palestinian team investigating the death.

Arafat will be reburied the same day with military honours, but the ceremony will be closed to the public, Tirawi said.

The new inquiry into Arafat's death began after his widow Soha gave the Palestianian leader's clothes to TV station Al-Jazeera, which then passed them to a Swiss lab for testing.

The widow also asked the French government to investigate, while the Palestinian Authority called in Russian experts.

Arafat's death has remained a mystery for many. While the immediate cause of death was a stroke, the underlying source of an illness he suffered in his final weeks has never been clear, leading to persistent conspiracy theories that he had cancer, Aids or was poisoned.

Many in the Arab world believe Arafat, the face of the Palestinian independence struggle for four decades, was killed by Israel. Israel, which saw Arafat as an obstacle to peace, vehemently denies the charge.

There is no guarantee the exhumation will solve the mystery. Polonium-210 is known to rapidly decompose, and experts are divided over whether any remaining samples will be sufficient for testing.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I suppose just bombing his car from the air might have been a bit too political sensitive at the time. Israel certainly have form in assassination so can understand an attempt to try and make it look natural death.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The news has popped up again... no further forward though...

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/06/yasser-arafat-poisoned-po lonium-tests-scientists
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/06/arafat-polonium-peace-tal ks-israel
http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/nov/06/yasser-arafat -report-swiss-institut-radiophysique-full-text
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/06/yasser-arafat-polonium-wh at-report-shows

I don't know why it has taken a full year since the samples were taken to get to the result...
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tests 'show Yasser Arafat was poisoned with polonium', widow says
Swiss experts hand over forensic results to Palestinians after exhuming remains of PLO leader who died in 2004, but findings not publicly revealed
Yasser Arafat 'poisoned with Polonium'
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/palestinianauthor ity/10430928/Tests-show-Yasser-Arafat-was-poisoned-with-polonium-widow -says.html
Robert Tait By Robert Tait, Jerusalem7:04PM GMT 06 Nov 2013
Yasser Arafat, the late Palestinian leader, may well have been poisoned with radioactive polonium, Swiss scientists have concluded in findings that may solve a 10-year riddle but torpedo the latest Middle East peace process.
His remains contained unusually high levels of polonium-210, a substance experts say can usually only be obtained from governments, months of forensic tests have shown.
The conclusions are likely to reawaken allegations that the late guerrilla leader - long a totemic symbol of the Palestinian national cause, was murdered, possibly by Israel which considered him a terrorist.
They also threaten to deal a fatal blow to ongoing peace talks that are already tottering under a barrage of mutual recriminations. A 108-page report from the University Centre of Legal Medicine in Lausanne said 18 times the normal levels of polonium were found in samples taken from his ribs and pelvis and in soil stained with his decaying organs.
Scientists said they could assert with 83 per cent confidence that Arafat was poisoned with polonium and said their findings "moderately supports" the argument that it caused his death.
The report - following exhaustive tests by Swiss, French and Russian physicians - promises to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of the former Palestinian Authority president who died aged 75 in November 2004 after falling ill in his compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
It came after the Lancet reported last month that the Swiss scientists had found polonium on Arafat's clothing after examining 38 samples of his belongings, including underwear, a shapka hat, toothbrush, a hospital cap and sportswear,
Arafat's widow, Suha, now living in Paris, said the latest report proved that her husband's death was "a real crime, a political assassination".
"This has confirmed all our doubts," she added. "It is scientifically proved that he didn't die a natural death and we have scientific proof that this man was killed." She stopped short of identifying possible culprits, saying her husband had many enemies.
David Barclay, a British forensic scientist who studied the report, called it a "smoking gun" and said he too was convinced Arafat had been murdered.
“Yasser Arafat died of polonium poisoning,” he told the Qatar-based Al Jazeera network, whose investigation last year into whether the former Palestine Liberation Organisation [PLO] leader had been murdered triggered the forensic examinations. “We found the smoking gun that caused his death. What we don’t know is who’s holding the gun at the time.
“The main problem is the timeframe,” he said. “If this was a murder that happened yesterday you’d have witnesses and cell phone records, emails, bank transfers. In a nine-year-old case that type of information will be hard to obtain.”
Scientists exhumed Arafat's remains from his tomb in Ramallah last November after Al Jazeera's report triggered a fresh clamour to re-open investigations into his death.
The report also prompted detectives in France to launch a murder investigation.
Scientists handed the result of their findings to Palestinian officials in Geneva on Tuesday.
However, there were signs that the report could trigger disagreements amongst Palestinians. Ghassan Shaka'a, mayor of the West Bank city of Nablus and a PLO executive committee member, said not all the results of tests had been revealed. The various Palestinian committees had decided to postpone their publication for several months "for political reasons", he told The Telegraph
"We want to know who poisoned him and how they did it and all the details of this crime," he said. "We want to know who implemented it and planned it. We want to try all those who were involved in it. Arafat was no ordinary president. He was a big symbol for the Palestinian people, who will not remain silent."
Palestinians have long pointed the finger at Israel for the sudden demise of their iconic leader - pointing out that he had been subject of previous Israeli assassination attempts and death threats.

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