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Family: Platelet disorder killed Arafat

Nov. 10, 2011 5:41 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 13, 2011 10:14 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A nephew of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat says the family will soon release a French medical report revealing Arafat's cause of death.

Naser al-Qudwa says the document is being translated from French before it is released.

Al-Qudwa says the report will answer "many questions," as it is the Palestinian people's right to get a clear answer about how Arafat died. The document has not previously been seen in Arabic.

The report by French doctors describes a platelet disorder and speculates on its cause, al-Qudwa says. The doctors ruled out cancer and an acute infection, he told Ma'an.

A third possibility was poisoning, al-Qudwa says, but the records show that doctors were unable to conclusively determine what poison, if any, was in Arafat's system.

"We have said that it is poisoning," he hinted.

Al-Qudwa has long campaigned for a close examination of his uncle's death, which he has blamed on poisoning in the past. It was not clear when the new documents were to be released.

Arafat died on Nov. 11, 2004 in Paris. Medical records have been closely guarded amid speculation on the cause of a sudden illness that struck the Palestinian leader shortly before his death.

Al-Qudwa says the Yasser Arafat Institute will hold a festival in Lebanon for the first time to mark the anniversary of Arafat's death. There will also be two festivals in the West Bank later in the month.
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