Tests Suggest Arafat Poisoned (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 07/03/12)
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Swiss laboratory research released Tuesday suggests Yassir Arafat was
poisoned with polonium in 2004.
Francois Bochud, head of the Institute of Radiation Physics at the
University of Lausanne, told Al-Jazeera, "The conclusion was that we
did find some significant polonium that was present in these
Arafat died on November 11, 2004, following several weeks of
treatment for deteriorating health. He had been airlifted to France
from his besieged headquarters in Ramallah.
At the time of his death at the age of 75, Palestinian Authority
officials charged he had been poisoned by longtime foe Israel, but an
inconclusive PA investigation in 2005 ruled out cancer, AIDS or
However, French officials are restricted by privacy laws and have
refused to reveal the precise cause of death or the nature of his
condition, fuelling a host of rumours and theories as to the cause of
To confirm the theory that he was poisoned by polonium it would be
necessary to exhume and analyse Arafat´s remains, Bochud said.
"If (Suha Arafat) really wants to know what happened to her husband
(we need) to find a sample - I mean, an exhumation... should provide
us with a sample that should have a very high quantity of polonium if
he was poisoned," he said.
However, Bochud said an analysis of Arafat´s belongings indicated he
“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 Bochud said.
The study of Arafat´s medical file and belongings was carried out at
the University Hospital Centre in Lausanne, Switzerland, which is
considered one of the best forensic pathology labs in the world.
Polonium is a highly radioactive element used, among other things, to
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
The lab’s results were reported in millibecquerels (mBq), a
scientific unit used to measure radioactivity.
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, when naturally occuring polonium only
registers a few millibecquerels, usually fewer than 10, at a time.
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
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.
However, even though the tests indicate Arafat was in all likelihood
poisoned, they do nothing to suggest who may have been behind it.
(IsraelNationalNews © 2012 07/03/12)
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