Israel says did not poison Arafat
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel said on Thursday it did not poison Yasser Arafat, making the denial after the Palestinian leader's widow said Swiss forensic tests had proven he died from radioactive polonium poisoning in 2004.
"We never made a decision to harm him physically," Energy Minister Silvan Shalom, who in 2004 served as foreign minister and as a member of Israel's security cabinet, told Israel Radio.
"In my opinion, this is a tempest in a tea cup. But even if it was (poisoning), it certainly was not Israel. Maybe someone else inside had thoughts or an interest to do it."
In the occupied West Bank, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization issued a new call for an international investigation into Arafat's death.
The Palestinian appeal was made after the Al-Jazeera news channel on Tuesday published a Swiss scientific report based on bone samples taken from his grave last November revealing unusually high levels of the deadly polonium isotope in his body.
"This matter warrants the formation of an international judicial body to look into it and hold accountable the perpetrator," Wasel Abu Yousef told Reuters.
"The one who had an interest in his death was the occupation (Israel)," he added.
Chief Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat made an appeal for an international tribunal over Arafat's death last year, when the Qatar-based news channel first disclosed the presence of the polonium on the late president's clothing. (Reporting by Jeffrey Heller and Noah Browning; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- Scots vote on independence, United Kingdom's fate on knife-edge
- Islamic State releases video it says shows British journalist John Cantlie
- China not warlike, says Xi, as border standoff dominates India trip
- International country music singer George Hamilton IV dies at 77
- UPDATE 1-International country music singer George Hamilton IV dies at 77
China is not a warlike nation, President Xi Jinping said on Thursday, during a rare trip to neighbour India that was dominated by a standoff on a barren Himalayan plateau between soldiers from the world's two most populous nations. Full Article | Slideshow
Obama to nominate Indian-American Richard Verma as India ambassador - congressional source. Full Article
Sophia Loren, Italy's national icon, turns 80 with book of memoirs. Full Article