Monday, May 04
Latest News
  1. Ex-US president Carter urges Palestinian elections
  2. UNESCO to award press freedom prize to jailed Syria activist
  3. Syria army 'tightens siege of rebel bastion near Damascus'
  4. Lebanon forces 'arrest IS-linked cleric'
  5. Kerry says US working hard to end Yemen crisis
  6. Syria regime air raid 'kills four children'
  7. Coalition: No major ground force in Yemen's Aden
  8. IS claims Baghdad bombing that killed 15
  9. HRW: Saudi-led coalition using cluster bombs in Yemen
  10. UN warns on Yemen aid as Saudi reports first border attack
  11. Rescue worker: Mass grave of 'boat people' found in south Thailand
  12. USGS: 7.1 magnitude earthquake hits Papua New Guinea
  13. WFP halts food distribution in Yemen due to fuel shortage
  14. Britain tells UN Iran trying to buy nuclear technology
  15. Austria rejects US extradition of Ukrainian oligarch
  16. Govt: Japan consumer inflation up for first time in 10 months
  17. Official: Nepal quake toll climbs to 6,204
  18. Iraqi Kurd leader to visit US for talks next week
  19. Iran to release seized Maersk vessel after 'debt settled'
  20. US warships to 'accompany' US-flagged ships into Gulf

Report: Israeli leaders reiterate Arafat AIDS claims

Dec. 29, 2012 5:45 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 30, 2012 5:49 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli officials on Friday reiterated claims that late President Yasser Arafat died from AIDS, as a probe into suspected poisoning of the Palestinian leader got underway.

Arafat led the bid for a Palestinian state through years of war and peacemaking, then died in a French hospital aged 75 after a short, mysterious illness in 2004.

No autopsy was carried out at the time, at the request of his wife Suha, and French doctors who treated him said they were unable to determine the cause of death.

But allegations of foul play surfaced immediately, and many Palestinians pointed the finger at Israel, which confined Arafat to his headquarters in Ramallah for the final two and a half years of his life after a Palestinian uprising erupted.

His body was exhumed in November and samples taken by Russian, Swiss and French experts for investigation. The results are expected in spring 2013.

Yossi Kuperwasser, director-general of Israel's ministry of strategic affairs and a former military intelligence officer, told Maariv newspaper on Friday that he believes Arafat became infected with HIV when his plane crashed in the Libyan desert.

Israeli experts were cited in the country's press after Arafat's death saying his death was likely from AIDS or food poisoning. Palestinians, citing several assassination attempts by Israeli intelligence of Palestinian leaders using poisoning, including Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal, insist Israel is responsible.

Israeli minister Avi Dichter told the Maariv newspaper that the blame for Arafat's death lies with Hamas "because Hamas and other Palestinian factions were interested in the murder of Arafat."

Palestinian officials have threatened that if the current probe points to assassination, the Palestinian Authority will start legal proceedings against Israel at the International Criminal Court.
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015