Poll: Majority of Palestinians Believe Israel Poisoned Arafat

Fifty-nine percent of Palestinians believe that the late Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned by Israel, according to the AFP news agency. The Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that only 21% of Palestinians "believe that a Palestinian party or group or a joint Palestinian-Israeli party or group is responsible."

After Arafat died in 2004, at the age of 75, his wife Suha refused to allow an autopsy. Only later did she allow an exhumation of his body when traces of polonium-210 were found on clothing that she provided to scientists. Although Swiss researchers say the high degree of polonium found on the body and effects of Arafat could result from poisoning, French scientists dismiss the idea. The Swiss findings were deemed spurious when it was found that the research team was funded by Suhu Arafat and the Palestinian Authority.

In 2007, Arafat’s doctor, Dr. Ashraf al-Kurdi, told the Jordanian Amman News Agency that Arafat had AIDS, insisting that the HIV virus was injected into Arafat, and not the result of sexual activity. His mention of Arafat’s AIDS in a later interview caused Al-Jazeera to interrupt the interview.


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