Praying at Arafat's grave in Ramallah
Photo: AFP

PA marks Arafat's death: 'He was poisoned'

Ceremonies marking 7th anniversary of Palestinian leader's death held in West Bank and abroad. Wife: Secret of Yasser's death went with him to the grave

Palestinians in the West Bank and overseas marked the seventh anniversary of Yasser Arafat's death on Friday.


During a memorial ceremony in Ramallah, Arafat's nephew, Nasser al-Qidwa, reaffirmed his belief that the Palestinian leader was poisoned to death by Israel.


סוהא, זהווה ויאסר ערפאת. תמונה נדירה של בת הראיס (צילום: AFP)

Suha Arafat with daughter Zawha (Photo: AFP)


Arafat died at the age of 75 at a Paris hospital on November 11, 2004, during the waning days of the Al-Aqsa Intifada. He was transferred to Paris from Ramallah following a long period in which the IDF laid siege to his headquarters, the Mukata'a, due to his role in terror attacks waged against Israel.


ליד קבר ערפאת ברמאללה. טענו שהורעל או שמת מאיידס (צילום: AP)

Arafat's tomb in Ramallah (Photo: AP)


"We reaffirm our conviction that Israel was responsible for the poisoning of the late president Yasser Arafat, but we recognize our inability to get a definitive answer," al-Qidwa said.


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Arafat's widow, Suha, told reporters she still does not know the cause of her husband's death. "President Arafat is dead, and the secret of his death went with him to the grave," she told AFP.


כרזה של הראיס המנוח בהפגנת שישי בנבי צאלח (צילום: EPA)

West Bank march in Arafat's memory (Photo: EPA)


Suha Arafat said that the official medical report she received after her husband's death "indicated that the cause of death was the destruction of red blood cells, without mentioning the reason.


"The report did not mention the presence of poison that caused his death, and I do not know if anyone knows of something I do not," she added.


In 2005, the New York Times published an article- based also on the French medical report - claiming that Arafat had died of an "unknown infection", adding it was "highly unlikely" that it was caused by AIDS or poisoning.


Suha and Yasser Arafat's only daughter, Zawha, was born five years after their wedding in 1990. Suha, who has spent most of her time abroad since her husband's death, has been widely criticized in the Arab world for her lavish lifestyle.


On Thursday AFP published rare photos of 16-year-old Zawha Arafat, whose public appearances have been scarce. Zawha and her mother currently reside in Malta.



פרסום ראשון: 11.11.11, 22:07
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