On November 27, Arafat's
body was exhumed. Samples were taken from his remains and surrounding
soil. Tests are being conducted. International experts are involved.
Earlier evidence proved he died from radioactive polonium poisoning. Tests
will check for all possible toxic substances.
Israel had motive and opportunity. Mossad and Shin Bet have long histories
of targeted assassinations. They use poisons and other means. Ariel Sharon's
government bears full responsibility.
Fourteen months earlier, then Israeli Vice Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
told Israeli radio after a cabinet meeting:
"How are we going to" remove Arafat? "Expulsion is certainly one of the
options, and killing is also one of the options."
In July 2000, Arafat fell out of favor. Bill Clinton hosted him and then
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak at Camp David.
Barak insisted Arafat sign a "final agreement" and declare an "end of
conflict." Doing so would have renounced any legal claim to Palestine
Nothing was put in writing. No documents or maps were presented. Barak
wanted Palestinian land divided into four isolated bantustans surrounded
by expanding settlements and other Israeli controlled territory.
He offered terms no responsible leader would accept. He demanded unconditional
surrender. Arafat refused and was unfairly blamed. It very likely led
to his death by assassination.
On September 29, 2000, a second Intifada erupted. Sharon provoked it.
On September 28, accompanied by 1,000 Israeli troops and police, he staged
a provocative visit to Islam's third holiest site - the Haram al-Sharif
sacred shrine and Al-Aqsa Mosque.
A cycle of violence followed. Jenin perhaps was most affected. In April
2002, its refugee camp was attacked.
Hundreds of buildings were destroyed. Palestinians were buried under rubble.
Water and power were cut off. Food, medical aid, and other essentials
were kept out. Unknown numbers of civilian men, women and children were
slaughtered in cold blood.
IDF violence targeted other areas. Palestinians never had a chance. When
the five-year Intifada ended, 4,166 Palestinians died. Among them were
886 children and 271 women.
Thousands more were injured or disabled. Hundreds of targeted assassinations
occurred. Thousands were imprisoned, including 288 children and 115 women.
Another 2,329,659 dunums of Palestinian land were stolen, thousands more
razed, and over 1.3 million trees uprooted. Nearly 7,800 homes were demolished.
Another 98,800 were damaged.
Israeli crimes were extreme. Palestinian victims were blamed. Israel called
it self-defense. Arafat was targeted. His failure to surrender at Camp
David cost him his life.
In March 2002, Israel lay siege to his Ramallah (Mukataa) compound. It
continued until May. Troops surrounded it. Tanks and armored vehicles
smashed through walls.
Palestinian intelligence headquarters was shelled. Heavy damage was inflicted.
Troops stormed a facility adjacent to Arafat's compound.
He and close aides took refuge on a lower floor. His security guards and
IDF forces exchanged fire. At least five Palestinians were killed. Two
dozen or more were wounded.
Power and phone lines were cut. Arafat was totally isolated. Israeli snipers
shot anyone trying to leave his compound. Israeli troops and tanks let
no one in or out.
Talk surfaced about Sharon wanting Arafat killed. It was more than talk.
His spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said his "life is in danger."
Arafat made contact with Arab leaders. He told Al Jazeera, "They either
want to kill me, capture me, or expel me, but I tell them I'd rather be
He accused Israel of terrorizing Palestinians and wanting to scuttle peace
efforts. Sharon mobilized reservists. He deployed thousands of troops
across the West Bank. Villages and refugee camps were raided.
Gun battles broke out in Ramallah and other West Bank cities. Dozens of
Palestinians were killed, injured or arrested.
Defense Minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer declared Ramallah the "capital of
terror." Military operations would continue, he said. "Nobody is immune
to the armed forces as long as that person is labeled a terrorist."
The IDF was told to "strike everywhere." Destroy "terrorist infrastructure."
"Restraint is dead," added Eliezer. Arafat's days were numbered. He was
a marked man. Israel decided to murder him.
Two previous articles explained. One written on January 2, 2007 headlined
"Former Longtime Confident Accuses Ariel Sharon of Assassinating Yasser
Uri Dan's 2006 book titled "Ariel Sharon: An Intimate Portrait" told what
he knew. In 2004, Sharon informed George Bush. He also wanted Arafat removed.
He was isolated in his compound. Israel destroyed most of it.
On November 11, 2004, Arafat died in Paris. He was 75. In early October
he took ill. On October 29, he was flown to France's Percy Military Hospital.
Doctors examining him couldn't diagnose his illness.
On November 3, he slipped into a coma. Eight days later he was dead. French
doctors prepared a 558-page report. They claimed death from blood disorder
They likely concealed what they knew. They described what they called
"disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)." It causes malignancy and
infection, they said.
They claimed his blood vessels exhibited small clots. They deplete platelets
and clotting factors needed to control bleeding. It can cause death by
They also called DIC a secondary condition. In other words, it wasn't
the main cause of his illness or death. Something else was responsible.
That issue was left unanswered.
Arafat's personal physician, Dr. Ashraf Al Kurdi, believed very likely
he was poisoned. At the time, nothing was done to confirm it. Kurdi said
Abbas blocked an autopsy. He had coverup in mind.
"They didn't want to do it," said Kurdi. "When you talked to them about
an autopsy they would get fits. (Abbas) said it would disturb relations
In suspected criminal cases, autopsies are automatic. Given the strong
possibility that Arafat was poisoned, failure to determine cause of death
In August 2007, Haaretz headlined "Arafat's doctor: There was HIV in his
blood, but poison killed him," saying:
Kurdi said "the virus had been injected into (his) bloodstream close to
his death, and that the real cause of (his) death was poison."
Kurdi was Arafat's personal physician for 18 years. He explained that
he'd "usually be summoned to attend to (him) immediately, even when all
he had was a simple cold."
"But when his medical situation was really deteriorating, they chose not
to call me at all." He was denied access to his body after he died. He
wanted France to set up an inquiry commission.
On September 9, 2005, he said "any doctor would tell you that (Arafat's
condition exhibited) symptoms of poisoning."
Haaretz added that "Arab journalists and opinion-shapers have repeatedly
accused Israel under former prime minister Ariel Sharon of poisoning Arafat."
On July 4, Al Jazeera headlined "Arafat's widow (Suha) calls to exhume
his body," saying:
"A nine-month investigation suggests that the late Palestinian leader
may have been poisoned with polonium."
"Eight years after his death, it remains a mystery exactly what killed
the longtime Palestinian leader."
"Tests conducted in Paris found no obvious traces of poison in Arafat’s
system. Rumors abound about what might have killed him cancer, cirrhosis
of the liver, even allegations that he was infected with HIV."
"A nine-month investigation by Al Jazeera has revealed that none of those
rumors were true: Arafat was in good health until he suddenly fell ill
on October 12, 2004."
Arafat's personal belongings showed traces of deadly polonium. Science
Daily calls it "around 109 times" more toxic than hydrogen cyanide. Its
main hazard is radioactivity. It's "most lethal when ingested" or inhaled.
Switzerland's Radiophysique (SR) analyzed Arafat's belongings. Blood,
sweat, saliva and urine samples were obtained. Tests showed abnormal polonium
levels in his body when he died.
SR director Dr. Francois Bochud said:
"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."
SR scientists said further tests "concluded that....between 60 to 80 percent
(of the polonium) was 'unsupported.' " It didn't come from natural sources.
Arafat's widow, Suha, asked Palestinian Authority (PA) officials to exhume
his body. If bone, tissue, and/or other bodily evidence substantiates
SR's diagnosis, poisoning will be confirmed.
On November 27, Al Jazeera headlined "Yasser Arafat's body exhumed in
International experts conducted 10 hours of tests. They'll be shipped
overseas for analysis. Jordanian doctor Abdullah Bashir was involved.
About 20 samples were obtained, he said. "We have asked (international
teams) to test for all poisons, not only for polonium."
PA officials imposed "a near-media blackout." Arafat family members and
lawyers representing his widow, Suha, were excluded from attending his
exhumation. No reason was given.
Experts examining samples include a French toxicologist, pathologist,
and legal medicine generalist. Switzerland's Radiophysique (SR) is part
of the investigation. Russian experts will conduct their own independent
Al Jazeera said if polonium killed Arafat, "very little….will remain at
this point. Polonium-210, the isotope found on (his) personal effects,
has a half-life of 138 days."
It means half the substances decays "every four-and-a-half months. Scientists
say that eight years is about the limit for recovering a useful sample,
and a longer delay would have made it impossible to recover a workable
Tests will take months before findings are announced.
Natural polonium "replenishes itself after decaying." Unsupported polonium
from unnatural sources does not.
When results are known, French courts will decide what's next. Arafat
died in Paris. France maintains legal jurisdiction.
Earlier this year, Suha requested a murder investigation. In August, it
was approved. French judges began "collecting Arafat's medical records
and other evidence." Efforts are proceeding quietly.
Al Jazeera said PA security officers harassed their reporters. They tailed
them "in cars and on foot, and at one point broke into the network's hotel
Abbas is a longtime Israeli collaborator. He may have coverup in mind.
He originally blocked an autopsy. Arafat was buried suspiciously fast.
It doesn't happen when foul play is suspected.
On November 27, Maan News said PA officials "will start legal proceedings
against Israel at the (ICC) if forensic tests prove (Arafat) was murdered."
Chief investigator Tawfiq Tirawi said:
"We have evidence and indications that (Arafat) was killed, including
remarks by Israeli leaders that they must get rid of Arafat, but we need
evidence to submit to the International Criminal Court."
Foul play was suspected all along. Clear evidence is hard to deny. At
the same time, responsibility may be hard to prove.
Israel will go all-out to prevent it. Washington will help. Expect Abbas
to be party to coverup. Longtime collaborators don't turn a page. They
don’t reinvent themselves honorably as saints.