Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he gives a speech during a rally marking the 12th anniversary of the death of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in the West Bank city of Ramallah on November 10, 2016
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he knows who was behind the mysterious death of Yasser Arafat, the former leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
“You ask me who killed him, I know, but my testimony alone is not enough,” Abbas said addressing thousands of mourners in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah as they marked 12th anniversary of Arafat’s death.
“I do not want to mention names, because these names do not deserve to be remembered,” he said.
He did say, however, that an inquiry was seeking to identify Arafat’s killers.
“A commission of inquiry is digging into that, but you’ll find out at the earliest opportunity and be amazed when you know who did it,” he said intriguingly.
Arafat, who led an armed struggle against Israel in the late 1960s, died of unknown causes at a hospital near the French capital, Paris, on November 11, 2004. He was 75.
Palestinians wave their national flag as they take part in a rally marking the 12th anniversary of the death of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (portrait) in the West Bank city of Ramallah, November 10, 2016
In 2012, Arafat’s widow, Suha, filed a legal complaint in France, claiming that her husband had been assassinated while staying at the Mercy military hospital near Paris in 2004. He had been moved to the hospital the previous month for diarrhea and vomiting.
According to French doctors, he died of a massive stroke, although the origin of his illness was unknown.
Arafat’s tomb in Ramallah was opened the same year so that three teams of French, Swiss, and Russian investigators could collect samples for investigation.
A subsequent French investigation found no proof of poisoning. However, separate probes from Swiss and Russian experts found that Arafat had been poisoned to death with polonium.
Many Palestinians believe that Israel poisoned Arafat. However, Abbas and his longtime rival Mohammed Dahlan have both accused each other of complicity in Arafat’s death in the past.
Certain Arab countries are reportedly pressuring the PLO chairman to allow Dahlan, who has been in exile in the United Arab Emirates, to return to the West Bank amid talk of who will succeed Abbas.
In May, the online news portal Middle East Eye said that Israel as well as the UAE, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia were planning to overthrow Abbas and replace him with Dahlan.
It quoted unidentified Palestinian and Jordanian sources as saying that the UAE had discussed the initiative with Israel.
(Source / 11.11.2016)