Who did it? Yasser Arafat was probably poisoned, scientists say; Israel denies involvement

  • Article by: JOHN HEILPRIN , Associated Press
  • Updated: November 7, 2013 - 6:25 PM

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Yasser Arafat's mysterious 2004 death turned into a whodunit Thursday after Swiss scientists who examined his remains said the Palestinian leader was probably poisoned with radioactive polonium.

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carlbsNov. 7, 1312:10 PM

Clearly it was an assassination. We'll never ever get the truth from Israel; proven to be the best liars on the planet. It could even be some radical faction within Palestine. But how would they get a hold of this stuff? It will be interesting if an investigation turns something up. But don't hold your breath getting cooperation from Israel.

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mike2636Nov. 7, 1312:32 PM

Probabaly a far more humane death than the deaths suffered by the countless people this man murdered. Live by the sword, steal from the people you purportedly represent, and die by the sword......

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notsidNov. 7, 1312:34 PM

It is easy to assume that, if true, the dirty deed was done by the Israeli's. Given the internal disputes and debates amongst the Palestinian's as to who is in charge and/or who can speak for them, it is probably a bit too easy to make that assumption.

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gemie1Nov. 7, 1312:38 PM

According to the article, the chemicals might have been put there after the fact. We will never what happened, but there are enough people, groups and countries that did not like him to assume someone wanted him dead.

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swmnguyNov. 7, 1312:41 PM

"I can assure you that officially, Israel had nothing to do with it," is the money quote. "Officially." Because "Officially" Israel doesn't have nuclear weapons. "Officially" Israel didn't use incendiaries on civilians in Gaza. "Officially" there was nobody living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean prior to 1948. "Officially" nobody has any idea what happened to the USS Liberty; maybe they strafed themselves.

Fascinating. America might be the only country on Earth where there is a shred of doubt as to what happened to Arafat and why, and at whose hands.

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kingharodNov. 7, 13 2:08 PM

@Carlbs - Clearly it was an assassination.*** Arafat had many enemies, Israel ye but also within and without his political party. Arafat was a terrorist, whether he was poisoned or blown to bits with a hellfire missile launched from one of Obama Predator drones, either way he deserved to go meet his maker.

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swmnguyNov. 7, 13 3:01 PM

You don't get Polonium-238 at the 5-and-dime. It absorbs into tissue differently when it is ingested by a live person than if remains were tampered with after death. These matters were well covered in the Alexander Litvinenko case in London in 2006. That's why people were so sure Litvinenko was killed by Russian agents.

There's very little question who killed Arafat, based on these findings. Somebody with access to Polonium-238 from a functioning nuclear reactor; resources for handling and moving the stuff; access to people inside Arafat's circle of authority.

Sorry folks. This one is easy.

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stpaulisbestNov. 7, 13 4:11 PM

And here's the proof we need that the PLO was trying to make an atomic bomb. There were always rumors and vague threats about the 'suitcase from Allah', but now we have the proof.

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moparfoolNov. 7, 13 4:52 PM

According to a Wikipedia article about polonium, Russia makes most of what is in the world today. It's made by bombarding bismuth with high energy particles from a cyclotron; not something most have access to. It has a short half life, and can be very dangerous to handle. The mystery deepens, but most likely the people who surrounded Arafat in his last months might have answers.

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redblack30Nov. 8, 1311:21 AM

Tell me again: why is it in our national interest to back Israel 100%?

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