When Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died under mysterious circumstances at a Paris military hospital, at the age of 75 in November 2004, many in the Arab world suspected something was amiss following the manner the entire episode was handled. Arafat, who was virtually under house arrest for more than two years following a siege by the Israeli army of the Ramallah headquarters of his Fatah party, was flown out in a helicopter and then taken to a Paris military hospital for treatment of some mysterious ailment.
Two weeks later he was declared dead, but the cause of his demise was never revealed. Hospital records pertaining to his ailment were also not made public, though there were leaked media reports of him having suffered a stroke following a bleeding disorder. But most Palestinians suspected Israel’s hand in his death with the Fatah believing that he had been poisoned by Israeli agents.
Nearly eight years after the passing away of one of the most popular and admired Palestinian leaders, the mystery behind his death is finally unraveling. Arab satellite network Al Jazeera has come out with shocking findings relating to the death of Arafat, following a comprehensive, nine-month-long probe into the incident. The report, based on an analysis of the personal belongings of the late Palestinian leader — including his clothes, toothbrush and head-dress — by the respected Institute of Radiation Physics, Lausanne, in Switzerland, have revealed elevated levels of polonium-210, a highly radioactive element.