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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Arafat's last words

The thing about Arafat is he's dead. The day he died was a blessed event for all mankind. He died 8 years ago and just now the Palestinian Authority are digging him up to see if he was poisoned. What do you think the odds are they're going to say he died of natural causes? The stupid Palestinians thought their biggest threat was Israel. In reality it was Arafat.

Yasser Arafat’s remains exhumed to see whether he may have been poisoned

JERUSALEM –The remains of Yasser Arafat, the iconic Palestinian leader who died in 2004, were exhumed from his tomb in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday as part of an inquiry into whether he might have been poisoned, Palestinian officials said.

The probe was ordered after an investigative report on the Arabic satellite channel Al-Jazeera in July presented what it said was evidence of a poisoning, reviving suspicions surrounding Arafat’s death.

The report prompted Arafat’s widow, Suha, to call for an exhumation, which was later authorized by the Palestinian Authority, which governs parts of the West Bank. 

Palestinian officials have long accused Israel of poisoning Arafat, who personified dreams of Palestinian statehood and over decades shifted from embracing terror tactics to negotiating a peace deal, after confining him in his Ramallah compound for more than two years during the second Palestinian uprising.

Israeli officials have dismissed the claims.

Arafat’s remains were disinterred Tuesday at dawn from his tomb in the presidential compound, which was hidden from view by blue tarpaulins. Palestinian doctors took samples and handed them over to French, Swiss and Russian experts, who will examine them in their home countries, officials said. 

“The process and the work of the experts began early in the morning, and as far as I know everything went well, and they were able to collect what was needed,” said Nour Odeh, a spokeswoman for the Palestinian Authority.

Arafat died in a French military hospital in November 2004, at age 75, about two weeks after he was flown from Ramallah when his health deteriorated.

Medical records showed that he had died from a stroke caused by a bleeding disorder stemming from an underlying infection that was never identified.

The French hospital found no traces of poison.

But in its televised report, al-Jazeera said it had turned over some of Arafat’s personal effects — including clothing he had worn before his death, his toothbrush and his trademark black-checked head scarf — to the University of Lausanne’s Institute of Radiation Physics in Switzerland, which tested them and found high levels of the very toxic radioactive isotope polonium 210. The items, stored for years, were given to the television channel by Arafat’s widow and taken to the institute for testing. 

Polonium was identified as the substance that killed Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB agent who became a critic of the Russian government. Litvinenko died in 2006 after being poisoned in London.

Following a formal complaint lodged by Suha Arafat, French authorities in August opened a murder inquiry into Yasser Arafat’s death.

Experts at the Swiss institute said Arafat’s remains would have to be examined to corroborate any suspicions of poisoning.

But polonium-210 decomposes rapidly, and it was unclear whether the samples taken on Tuesday, years after his death, would provide any conclusive evidence.

Copied from Wikipedia.

In August 2002, the Israeli Military Intelligence Chief alleged that Arafat's personal wealth was in the range of USD $1.3 billion. In 2003 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conducted an audit of the PNA and stated that Arafat diverted $900 million in public funds to a special bank account controlled by Arafat and the PNA Chief Economic Financial adviser. However, the IMF did not claim that there were any improprieties, and it specifically stated that most of the funds had been used to invest in Palestinian assets, both internally and abroad.

However in 2003, a team of American accountants–hired by Arafat's own finance ministry–began examining Arafat's finances; this team reached a different conclusion. The team claimed that part of the Palestinian leader's wealth was in a secret portfolio worth close to $1 billion, with investments in companies like a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Ramallah, a Tunisian cell phone company and venture capital funds in the US and the Cayman Islands. The head of the investigation stated that "although the money for the portfolio came from public funds like Palestinian taxes, virtually none of it was used for the Palestinian people; it was all controlled by Arafat. And none of these dealings were made public."

An investigation conducted by the General Accounting Office reported that Arafat and the PLO held over $10 billion in assets even at the time when he was publicly claiming bankruptcy.

Although Arafat lived a modest lifestyle, Dennis Ross, former Middle East negotiator for Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, stated that Arafat's "walking-around money" financed a vast patronage system known as neopatrimonialism. According to Salam Fayyad—a former World Bank official whom Arafat appointed Finance Minister of the PNA in 2002—Arafat's commodity monopolies could accurately be seen as gouging his own people, "especially in Gaza which is poorer, which is something that is totally unacceptable and immoral." Fayyad claims that Arafat used $20 million from public funds to pay the leadership of the PNA security forces (the Preventive Security Service) alone.

Fuad Shubaki, former financial aide to Arafat, told the Israeli security service Shin Bet that Arafat used several million dollars of aid money to buy weapons and support militant groups. During Israel's Operation Defensive Shield, the Israel army recovered counterfeit money and documents from Arafat's Ramallah headquarters. The documents showed that, in 2001, Arafat personally approved payments to Tanzim terrorists. The Palestinians claimed that the counterfeit money was confiscated from criminal elements.


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