by Roy Tov
Friday, July 6th, 2012
Dramatic Development after Swiss laboratory finds poisoning signs in Arafat’s belongings
On July 3, 2012, Al Jazeera published a report of the Institute of Radiation Physics at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland that claimed to have found significant traces of polonium in samples taken from Arafat’s personal effects, including his trademark keffiyeh. In other words, that Arafat had been poisoned using a highly unusual radioactive poison. The report was recognized as credible by practically everybody, except for the culprits. “The report is baseless,” was the line repeated by Hebrew media and attributed to a nameless senior official. In Arafat’s Assassin is…, I offered an analysis showing how Israel was the only possible perpetrator, with the help of a Palestinian agent working in Mukataa, the Palestinian Authority Headquarters in Ramallah. It didn’t take long until collateral corroboration emerged. Today, July 6, 2012, a video of a Palestinian prisoner acknowledging to have slipped the poison into Arafat’s food emerged.
After reading this for the first time, I thought that the webpage I was looking at had been phished. There were several odd issues. First, I read that in Hebrew at the Arutz Sheva website; the item didn’t appear in English (it may appear later today). Second, the item wasn’t mentioned by larger Hebrew news websites. Third, it was attributed to Al-Myadin, which later I identified as the Mideast Lebanon Satellite Channel. I had never heard of that network and the Hebrew transcription of the name—the only one I had—caused problems in the search. Finally, I found a Hebrew article from June 11, 2012, claiming that this is a Palestinian-Lebanese network recently founded by a journalist who left Al Jazeera due to its partiality. I have all the relevant names, though in Hebrew, with no reliable English transliterations for them. Thus, I won’t publish them here, though I will gladly provide them under request. Why was the story published now? Following the publication of the Swiss laboratory results, Arafat’s widow demanded the exhumation of the body and the Palestinian Authority agreed. If Israel knows what will be found (large amounts of polonium in his body), then there is no point in hiding the testimony anymore. From now onwards, it will be used to build up Israel’s deterrence. Eventually, I was convinced the item was credible enough. With this warning, here is the story.
Arafat was in good health until he suddenly fell ill on October 12, 2004. At the time he was besieged by Israeli tanks in the Palestinian Authority Ramallah headquarters. Israel feared Arafat was about to declare Palestinian independence from Israel in a desperate attempt to end the brutal repression the Palestinian Authority was suffering at the time. The only way Israel could stop that was taking out the only leader capable of performing the feat: Yasser Arafat. When his condition deteriorated, he traveled to Paris, where he died in a military hospital. The French found that he was basically healthy; he didn’t smoke, didn’t drink alcohol, and wasn’t poisoned with common substances. Below are two pages of the 10-page report issued by the French Ministry of Defense.
The French Ministry of Defense report strengthens the recent findings of the Swiss laboratory, since it discards common causes for Arafat’s death. Now, certain strange facts in the affair are finally being clarified. For example, samples of Arafat’s blood taken in Ramallah were sent to a lab in Tunis but disappeared along the way. If they were contaminated with radioactive materials, then Israel had a very good reason to sabotage the delivery. The disappearance was published at the time by Hebrew media and others.
The Swiss finding of polonium in Arafat’s garments and toothbrush hinted that the poison had been delivered through the food, or by spraying. Given the high toxicity of polonium, the latter was not probable.
The video broadcast by the Mideast Lebanon Satellite Channel fits all what have been described until now. Filmed in the Ktzi’ot Military Jail in Israel in 2006, the video shows an unnamed Palestinian prisoner claiming that he was a “mashtap” (Hebrew acronym of “meshatef peula,” a “collaborator” with the Shin Beth). He then adds that he got the help of one of the cooks at the Rammalah compound where Arafat was-and introduced poison into the soup and rice to be eaten by Arafat. The scenario described follows the assumed in Arafat’s Assassin is… If the video is true, then the Palestinian was in an Israeli jail as a protection measure by the Shin Beth. Usually, collaborators that have performed a substantial job for the Shin Beth get Israeli citizenship and are resettled within the Green Line borders (pre-1967 borders) after they are forgotten by the public.
Hebrew sources claim not only that the Swiss report is baseless, but also that Arafat was already irrelevant at the time. Israeli officials continue claiming that Israel didn’t poison him, openly ignoring or discrediting without explanations any supportive evidence. The ongoing events show not only that Arafat was relevant then, but that he is so also now. Further developments are expected.