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July 3, 2012 9:28 pm

Arafat Might Have Been Poisoned With Radioactive Substance

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Yasser Arafat with Palestinian National Authority cabinet members at a meeting in Copenhagen, 1999. Photo: Hans Jørn Storgaard Andersen.

According to a news report by Al-Jazeera, a significant amount of a polonium was found on the personal belongings of deceased  former PLO leader and arch terrorist Yasser Arafat. The Fatah leader died in October 2004 at a French military hospital while still undergoing medical testing. Media rumors and speculation over the cause for his demise included cancer, liver cirrhosis, and HIV. According to this new report however, the most likely factor seems to be radioactive poisoning.

“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,” affirmed Dr. Francois Bochud, the director of the Institut de Radiophysique in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The institute, part of the University Hospital Centre’s Legal Department, is deemed to be one the top forensic pathology research laboratories world-wide. A nine-month investigation on the cause of Arafat’s mysterious death, commissioned by the Qatari news outlet, examined blood stains and other bodily fluids found on Arafat’s clothing, toothbrush, and notorious keffiyeh.

Elevated levels of the radioactive element were discovered on Arafat’s possessions; in several cases, they were ten times more concentrated than those on ‘control objects,’ – random samples which were examined and contrasted.

Although natural levels of polonium present in the atmosphere cause minimal effect and vanish rather fast, Polonium-210, the isotope found on Arafat’s personal possessions, has a half-life of 138 days, which causes half the substance to decay about 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 laboratory reported to Al Jazeera.

Arafat’s most personal belongings, particularly those with bodily fluids on them, registered much higher levels of the element. His toothbrushes had polonium levels of 54 millibecquerels (mBq), a scientific unit used to measure radioactivity.

A three-month period of further investigation from March until June this year had also found that most of that polonium – between 60 and 80 percent – came from unnatural sources.

Arafat is not the only one to have died from the deadly gas Polonium-210. Russian spy-turned-dissident Alexander Litvinenko, who died mysteriously in London, was later discovered to have been poisoned by polonium that was slipped into his tea.

Before his death, Arafat experienced similar symptoms to Litvinenko’s, including severe diarrhea, weight loss, and vomiting.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Arab media outlets have previously cast suspicions suggesting that Israel had poisoned Arafat. Several PA officials have publicly claimed that former Fatah official Mohammed Dahlan collaborated with Israel in the poisoning.

The study of Arafat’s belongings did not reveal any traces of common heavy metals or conventional poisons, so the research center turned its attention to more obscure elements, discovering the high levels of polonium, according to the report.

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