PA Official Admits There Is No ‘Proof’ That Israel Poisoned Arafat
JNS.org – For years, the Palestinian Authority has been spreading the libel that Israel murdered Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat by poisoning him. This PA propaganda has been so widespread that even small children discussed the “poisoning by the Jews” with the host of a PA TV children’s show:
Palestinian boy: The Jews put poison in his food, and then he died.
Official PA TV host: Bravo! That is very important information. Arafat was poisoned to death. Correct, his food was poisoned and he died as a martyr. Bravo, very clever, my friend Adnan. [Official PA TV, The Best Home, Nov. 17, 2017]
After years of cementing this libel in the Palestinian consciousness, a top PA official has now admitted that there is no “proof” to back up the claim that Arafat was “murdered by poisoning.” However, in spite of the lack of evidence, he added that he and “all the members of the Palestinian people are completely convinced that leader Yasser Arafat died as a martyr by poisoning.”
Interviewed on PA TV, PA Security Forces Spokesman Adnan Al-Damiri stated that “the reports from Switzerland, Russia, and other states in the world didn’t provide clear proof on the matter”:
Al-Damiri: Regarding the mystery of President Yasser Arafat’s death as a martyr, this is a belief, and I’m one of those who are convinced that he was murdered by poisoning.
Wattan TV interviewer: There is no proof.
Al-Damiri: But the reports from Switzerland, Russia, and other states in the world didn’t provide clear proof on the matter. …
Interviewer: So how, did [Abbas] and the [PA] government say a while ago: “We know who murdered Arafat?”
Al-Damiri: I, at least, don’t know. If someone said it, he should be asked.
Interviewer: There is no clear proof.
Al-Damiri: I, at least, don’t know. The information that I have on the issue, which I don’t have the authority to disclose, because there is a committee on the issue and I’m not its spokesman. The little information that I have is that all the members of the Palestinian people are completely convinced that leader Yasser Arafat died as a martyr by poisoning.
Interviewer: But there is no proof.
Al-Damiri: But until now, I think that no one has published irrefutable proof and definite names [of those involved]. [Wattan TV, independent Palestinian news agency, June 7, 2018]
While questioning Al-Damiri, the interviewer emphasized three times that “there is no proof” of the allegations that Arafat was poisoned and murdered. In light of this conclusion, the interviewer also wondered why Abbas and the PA government have stated that they “know who murdered Arafat.” This refers to statements made in 2016:
President Mahmoud Abbas declared today [November 10, 2016] that he knows the murderer of the late President Yasser Arafat, and emphasized that the result will soon be exposed “and the Palestinian people will be astonished when it discovers who the perpetrators are.” [Amad, an independent Palestinian news agency, Nov. 10, 2016]
However, the PA has never “exposed” what it promised and never presented names of the alleged murderers, which Al-Damiri confirmed: “No one has published irrefutable proof and definite names.”
Palestinian Media Watch has documented the PA’s efforts in spreading the libel that Israel murdered Arafat. Some have further claimed that the murder was committed with the approval of the United States.
Itamar Marcus is director and Nan Jacques Zilberdik senior analyst of Palestinian Media Watch. They are the authors of Deception: Betraying the Peace Process.