World Bulletin / News Desk
Yasser Arafat, who died in 2004, was poisoned by polonium, according to the findings of laboratory research carried out in Switzerland and cited in an Al-Jazeera report on Tuesday.
The analysis focused on biological samples taken from the late Palestinian leader's belongings given to his wife Suha by the military hospital in Paris where he died, according to Francois Bochud, head of the Institute of Radiation Physics at the University of Lausanne.
"The conclusion was that we did find some significant polonium that was present in these samples," Bochud told Al-Jazeera.
Polonium was used to kill Russian former spy turned Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko, who died in 2006 after drinking tea laced with the radioactive substance at a London hotel.
Arafat, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who led the struggle for Palestinian statehood for nearly four decades, died on November 11, 2004, following several weeks of treatment.
He had been airlifted to France from his besieged headquarters in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
French doctors who treated Arafat in his final days could not establish the cause of death. French officials refused to give details of his condition, citing privacy laws, fuelling a host of rumours and theories over the nature of his illness.
At the time of his death at the age of 75, Palestinian officials charged he had been poisoned by longtime foe Israel, but an inconclusive Palestinian investigation in 2005 ruled out cancer, AIDS or poisoning.
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.
Speaking at the end of the documentary, aired on Al Jazeera's English and Arabic channels, she said: "We have to go further and exhume Yasser Arafat's body to reveal the truth to all the Muslim and Arab world."
President says he will take ‘preemptive’ action to halt the actions that have drawn widespread criticism
Al-Sadr’s Sairoon bloc fails to form governing coalition with Al-Wataniya, National Wisdom Movement
Top Trump advisers arrive in Cairo after earlier stops in Jordan, Saudi Arabia
Official results of May 12 elections have been dogged by controversy
Muhammed Ebu Dekka was wounded by Israeli gunfire on May 14, says Palestinian Health Ministry
Protestors march from Bryant Park to United Nations headquarters
U.S. withdrew from UN rights council, accusing it of being hypocritical and biased against Israel
New rule is latest effort by Trump to dismantle former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act
Foreigners buy over 2,400 houses, marking a 36.1 percent rise year-on-year, according to official report
Over 1.4 million Turkish expats have cast their votes
Antonio Guterres 'would have much preferred for the United States to remain in the Human Rights Council,' spokesman says
Long sentence would set ‘strong precedent’ against Islamophobia
"Officials do not want to report these crimes," Trump says without presenting any evidence
Israeli national security adviser meets Russian counterpart in Moscow to discuss Syrian developments
NATO's breakdown is not inevitable -- we can maintain it, and all the benefits we derive, argues Jens Stoltenburg