The former Palestinian Authority leader may died of a lethal dose of the highly radioactive substance Polonium, Al-Jazeera satellite television channel reported Tuesday. The report is based on the findings of tests performed by a Swiss laboratory and exposed in a new documentary film.
Dr. Francois Bochud, director of the Institute of Radiation Physics at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, who analyzed objects that belonged to the former leader, told Al-Jazeera, "The conclusion was that we did find some significant polonium that was present in these samples."
“I can confirm to you that we measured an unexplained, elevated amount of unsupported polonium-210 in the belongings of Mr. Arafat that contained stains of biological fluids,” said Dr. Francois Bochud.
Polonium is a radioactive and toxic chemical element which is being effective by inhalation or ingestion.
According to Al-Jazeera, clothing of, his toothbrush and his iconic kuffiya were provided to Al-Jazeera by Arafat's widow Suha, in order to conduct laboratory tests, the first since his death.
Earlier, Suha told the channel when she asked the French hospital for Arafat's blood and urine samples, she was told they had been ruined. Casting doubt on this explanation, she said doctors refused to discuss her husband's death with her, saying it was a military secret.
Arafat, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who led the struggle for Palestinian statehood for nearly four decades, died on Nov. 11, 2004, at the Percy military hospital, a suburb of Paris, at the age of 75. Mystery surrounded his cause of death.
After undergoing on Oct. 25,2004, a first surgery in his headquarters in Ramallah, West Bank, Arafat's health deteriorated and he started to complain about stomach pains and vomiting.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian leadership is ready to cooperate with all sides to determine the circumstances surrounding the death of President Yasser Arafat.
President Mahmoud Abbas ordered the committee that investigates Arafat's death to study the new information and evidences that Al-Jazeera revealed.
He also called for an international investigation into Arafat's death, saying the query was a national Palestinian interest.
For her part, Arafat's widow Suha said she would ask for Arafat's body to be exhumed.
However, exhuming Arafat's body from his Ramallah grave would require Palestinian Authority authorization, while transporting it outside the West Bank for testing would also need Israeli permission.
It is worth to mention that the best known case of using Polonium for assassination is that of the former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, who died in December 2006. According to a British report, the deadly substance had been poured into his tea, when he met another former Russian spy in a sushi restaurant in London.