Report: Arafat may have died of radioactive poisoning

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Former Palestinian Authority head Yasser Arafat may have died of radioactive poisoning, Al Jazeera is reporting.

Al Jazeera’s report released Tuesday, following a nine-month investigation, cites findings by The Institut de Radiophysique in Lausanne, Switzerland, to suggest that he was poisoned with polonium-210.

The laboratory used clothing, a toothbrush and other personal effects provided by Arafat’s widow, Suha. Suha Arafat has called for her husband’s body to be exhumed in order to test his bones for the radioactive element. The Palestinian Authority has agreed to the request, the Palestinian Ma’an news service reported.

“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 Dr. Francois Bochud, the director of the institute, according to Al Jazeera.

Arafat died eight years ago after suddenly becoming ill in October 2004.
 

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