The ghost of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is rising from his grave to haunt Israel and the Americans.
A devastating investigation by Qatar’s al-Jazeera has found mounting evidence that Arafat’s death in 2004 was caused by the poisonous radioactive substance Polonium 210. Arafat’s widow, Suha, is now calling for his body to be exhumed and sent to the Swiss scientific institute in Lausanne that recently discovered traces of Polonium in Arafat’s clothing and personal effects.
She foolishly failed to have her husband’s body autopsied after his mysterious death. The French military hospital at Percy that treated the dying Arafat has never released an adequate report on the real cause of his death.
Soon after Arafat suddenly fell ill, then died, I wrote that he had ‘likely been poisoned’ by a hard to detect poison originally developed in the Soviet Union by the former KBG’s poison laboratory. Even to a non-medical man like myself, Arafat showed signs of drastic poisoning and internal organ collapse.
Polonium 210 is found in nature only in microscopic amounts. The one gram that can kill a man when slipped into his food or drink must be made in an advanced nuclear reactor. It can be carried across borders because it does not alert radiation detectors.
The last known use of Polonium 210 was the murder in London in 2006 of former Russian FSB (KGB successor) agent Alexander Litvinenko. He had defected from Russian security and co-authored a book claiming that Vladimir Putin’s rise to power in 1999 was accelerated by the FSB’s secret bombings of apartment buildings in Russia that were blamed on Chechen ‘terrorists’ – an eerie predecessor to the 9/11 attacks in the USA.
British authorities blamed a former FSB agent for poisoning Litvinenko’s tea, producing a horrible, excruciating death.
In 1997, two Israeli agents tried to murder Hamas leader Khaled Mashal in Amman, Jordan by squirting a poison into his ear. Threats from US President Bill Clinton forced Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to deliver an antidote to the unknown poison to Jordan.
In 2010, another Hamas chief, Mahmoud al Mabhouh was murdered in Dubai by Israeli agents using a paralyzing drug, acytelcholine.
Yasser Arafat’s death came when the PLO leader was under virtual house arrest in his compound at Ramallah, surrounded by Israeli forces that controlled the compound’s food and water. Arafat had been threatened by death countless times by Israel, notably by PM Ariel Sharon. Most of Arafat’s most able aides had been killed by Israeli hit teams from Mossad. The amazing thing is that Arafat survived so long.
At the time, Israel, backed by the US, was trying to impose a “peace treaty” on the Palestinians that would have left them with an unviable mini-state, chopped up into enclaves by Jewish only security roads and Jewish settlements – in short a new version of South Africa’s notorious “Bantustans.”
Arafat refused all pressure to accept this gunpoint deal. Soon after, he was murdered. Arafat was swiftly replaced by a new PLO leader, Mahmoud Abbas, who was widely seen among Palestinians as a creature of the US and Israel. Abbas’ security forces were CIA-trained; his regime was largely financed by the US and Israel.
As Stalin used to say, “no man, no problem.”
If Swiss forensic investigators do find Polonium 210 in Arafat’s corpse, it will confirm he was indeed murdered, a common view across the Arab world.
If it was murder, who did it? Swiss scientists say that murder by Polonium 210 could only have been done by a scientifically advanced nation – with a specialized reactor. The only Mideast nation in 2004 to have one was Israel. Israel denied being involved and spread the lie that Arafat died of AIDS – a fact disproven by Swiss scientists.
After Arafat’s death, I speculated that former Soviet biowarfare scientists who emigrated to Israel may have been involved. Israel maintains the Mideast’s largest biowarfare laboratories at Nes Ziona with very advanced technology.
Who else could get to Arafat with Israeli forces blockading his compound? PLO rivals, other Arab states? But none had Polonium 210. Russia? Why? Arafat was a longtime friend.
We must ask the old legal question, “qui bono,” who benefits from what appears to be murder most foul.
Columnist and author Eric Margolis is a veteran of many conflicts in the Middle East, Margolis recently was featured in a special appearance on Britain’s Sky News TV as “the man who got it right” in his predictions about the dangerous risks and entanglements the US would face in Iraq. His latest book is American Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World