BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – President Mahmoud Abbas has asked his French counterpart François Hollande to form an international commission to investigate the death of late president Yasser Arafat, similar to the international committee which investigated the assassination of Rafiq Hariri of Lebanon.
PLO official Saeb Erekat told Ma’an that if an international investigation is carried out, the PA will ask the Arab league to appoint a joint Arab and international committee.
He highlighted that the Arab League’s secretary-general Nabil al-Arabi promised to do his best as the Cairo-based regional body holds a meeting to discuss the case in the coming weeks.
Abbas made his request during a meeting with Hollande in Paris Friday.
“The truth about the martyrdom of Arafat must be revealed, as well as the tools used to kill him. The perpetrators must be put to justice,” Erekat added.
Al Jazeera reported last week that a Swiss institute found his personal belongings contained abnormal levels of a rare and radioactive element called polonium.
Arafat, who fell ill while besieged in his compound in Ramallah during the second intifada, eventually passed away in a Paris hospital in 2004. Mystery surrounded his cause of death.