The findings of a Swiss forensic team clearly prove that Yasser Arafat was poisoned, making his death a case of high level political assassination. The 108-page report reveals that the exhumed remains of the Palestinian leader and some of his personal belongings show large traces of the highly radioactive and lethal substance polonium-210. The Swiss forensic team was commissioned by the Palestinian Authority.
According to David Barclay, a forensic specialist, “If I was a judge and the jury, this is absolutely stone-cold certain…beyond any doubt in my opinion that it was polonium that caused the death of Yasser Arafat.”
Yasser Arafat died in a French military hospital on 11 November, 2004. The cause of death was a massive stroke accompanied by a medical condition known as disseminated intra-vascular coagulation (DIC) of blood and as no autopsy was carried out at that time, most people accepted his death to be due to natural causes.
There were some skeptics who, even at that time, found it strange that a perfectly healthy man died before their eyes in a matter of months. With the finding of poison in Arafat’s remains, suspicions are turning towards the state of Israel as the likely culprit. Israel on its part has declared, through its foreign ministry spokesman, that Israel had nothing to do with the death of Arafat and that the report by the Swiss is not conclusive.
Arafat, when he was alive, was a stumbling block in Israel’s hegemonic design to control the Middle East. He was an especially hard pill to swallow after he was granted a seat in the General Assembly and ultimately received the Noble Peace Prize in 1994 for his untiring struggle to bring lasting peace to the region. With his death the state of Israel took a sigh of relief. It is ironic that, now dead and buried, Arafat’s ghost still continues to haunt it.
Initially, Arafat and his Al-Fatah (in Arabic, meaning victory) party took up armed struggle against Israel but as he grew in years, his ideas matured. By the end, he was striving for peaceful co-existence with his neighbors. America under President Bill Clinton also played a part in bringing the two warring neighbors close.
Whatever the truth the widow Suha Arafat, the 18-year-old daughter Zahwa Arafat and the whole of Palestine is in deep mourning just as they were eight years ago, and for valid reasons; a loving husband, a doting father and a leader they revered and loved did not die a natural death as was originally held but was poisoned instead. Today the whole nation is appealing to the world community for justice.
In addition to the Swiss investigation commissioned by the Palestinian Authority, two other reports are still ongoing. One was commissioned by his wife and being conducted by the French, and the second one is being conducted by the Russians. If these reports also confirm what the Swiss report has found, then the melting pot of the Middle East is in for a real hard time. These findings will unleash a new and dangerous controversy with the potential of destabilizing the fragile balance of an already volatile region.
Editorial by Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada