Israel says did not poison Arafat

JERUSALEM Thu Nov 7, 2013 5:10pm IST

Suha Arafat, wife of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, speaks with Reuters in Doha November 6, 2013. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Suha Arafat, wife of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, speaks with Reuters in Doha November 6, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Fadi Al-Assaad

Related Topics

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, adjusts her flower garlands as she campaigns for her mother during an election meeting at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

Election 2014

More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — are eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.  Full Coverage 

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)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Caste Bias

Caste Bias

Bigoted teachers lead marginalised Indian school kids to drop out - HRW.  Full Article 

Ferry Tragedy

Ferry Tragedy

Divers feel with their hands for corpses in depths of S.Korean ferry.  Full Article 

Australia Determined

Australia Determined

Australia vows to keep searching to solve missing Malayasian plane mystery.  Full Article 

Guns and Gowns

Guns and Gowns

Film “The World Before Her” juxtaposes two faces of Indian woman.  Full Article 

Mobile Ads

Mobile Ads

Google extends reach into mobile apps with new ad feature.  Full Article 

Allegations Denied

Allegations Denied

Allegations of teen sex abuse by three Hollywood execs denied.  Full Article 

Rising Tensions

Rising Tensions

U.S. vows more sanctions on Russia unless tensions ease in Ukraine.  Full Article 

Need for Speed

Need for Speed

United must move fast with vital window looming.  Article 

Afghanistan Exit

Afghanistan Exit

Exclusive - U.S. force in Afghanistan may be cut to less than 10,000 troops  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage