Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/27/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Some believe that Palestinian leader was murdered after trace evidence discovered on personal effects

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who died eight years ago at the age of 75, is believed by some to have been murdered. At the request of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, his body was exhumed, tissue samples were removed and tests for deadly polonium poisoning are now being conducted.

French authorities opened a murder inquiry into his death this year after high levels of polonium-210 were detected on Yasser Arafat's toothbrush, clothing and his keffiyeh, the trademark black-and-white headscarf he frequently wore.

French authorities opened a murder inquiry into his death this year after high levels of polonium-210 were detected on Yasser Arafat's toothbrush, clothing and his keffiyeh, the trademark black-and-white headscarf he frequently wore.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

11/27/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Yasser Arafat, polonium poisoning, autopsy, inquest Palestinian

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Arafat's body was reburied earlier this week. Polonium is a toxic, radioactive element found on some of his personal belongings earlier this year.

The most potent symbol of Palestinian opposition to Israel, Arafat first led the Palestine Liberation Organization, which carried out attacks against Israeli targets. He later acted as the head of the Palestinian Authority, which currently runs the West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority says it is convinced that Israel was behind any poisoning of Arafat. Israel has declined to comment.

French authorities opened a murder inquiry into his death this year after high levels of polonium-210 were detected on Arafat's toothbrush, clothing and his keffiyeh, the trademark black-and-white headscarf he frequently wore. France opened the investigation partly because Arafat died there in 2004.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas approved the exhumation from Arafat's mausoleum in the Palestinian presidential compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

François Bochud, director of the Swiss institute that carried out the tests says that the presence of high levels of polonium-210 on his belongings does not mean Arafat was poisoned.

Some details in Arafat's medical records are not consistent with polonium poisoning, he explained, and "the only way to resolve this anomaly would be by testing the body."

According to Tawfiq Tirawi, head of a Palestinian investigation committee, experts retrieved the samples from Arafat's body without disturbing the whole of him so officials would not have to do a military reburial as was planned.

Forensic experts from Switzerland and Russia have also taken their own samples for independent analysis, Tirawi said.

Dying at a Paris military hospital after he suffered a brain hemorrhage and slipped into a coma, Palestinian officials say that Arafat had a blood disorder coupled with digestive problems.

Arafat's nephew claimed that medical records showed no cause of death. Nasser al-Kidwa, who was the Palestinian observer to the United Nations, said toxicology tests showed "no known poison.".

"The suspicion that he was killed, that he was deliberately murdered, has been there all along and most Palestinians believe that," Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization's executive committee says. "I personally believed it because I was with him; I saw him; I saw the transformation and it certainly was unnatural."

Ashrawi said she had spoken with Arafat's doctors, who told her that they could not rule out the possibility that he had been poisoned.

"But we didn't have any kind of thread, any kind of evidence," she told CNN in July.

Only a few countries, including the United States, Israel and Russia, have stocks of polonium-210, a fact that would limit the list of possible suspects.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Middle East

Germany commits troops to Syria - but NOT for combat Watch

Image of The gesture comes just before a vote by British MPs about whether the United Kingdom will extend its bombing campaigns to Syria. French president Francois Hollande is seen here with British Prime Minister David Cameron.


Responding to pressure from France, Germany will deploy 1,200 soldiers to Syria to help fight ISIS - but these troops will not participate in any front line combat. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is refraining from committing to anything more than a symbolic ... continue reading

Shocking propaganda clip from ISIS mimics popular video game - with REAL casualties Watch

Image of A drone camera shows armed fighters dressed in black piling into tanks and vehicles.


A new propaganda video from Nusra Front takes some visual cues from the decadent West and follows the stylebook of the popular video game "Call of Duty" - with an important difference. The targets shot in this "game" are real fatalities, with as many as 23 ... continue reading

Heartbreaking true story of American allies in Iraq denied citizenship for 'security-related reasons' Watch

Image of Iraqi allies are responsible for navigating U.S. troops through unknown terrain and have helped journalists, aid workers and diplomats survive, but the United States refuses known allies citizenship based on matters


In a heartbreaking opinion piece,'s investigations editor Christine Spolar laments America's refusal to allow Iraqi allies citizenship. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "I spoke to two Iraqis, former colleagues who had risked their lives for Americans, to ... continue reading

CRYBABY KILLER: Islamic State fighter breaks down in tears after being captured -- on video Watch

Image of The prisoner, in civilian clothing seems to have his hands bound behind his back, his eyes covered with a blindfold.


Despite the fact that they frequently attack unarmed women and children, the Islamist State terrorist group likes to provide an image to the world that they are unrepentant, fearless warriors. Part of that image was tarnished with the discovery of a video of an ... continue reading

GRAPHIC IMAGES: Islamic extremist shown being BLOWN UP while making propaganda video Watch

Image of A bearded Islamic fighter, identified as some as being Ajnad al-Sham, gives a propaganda speech to the camera as a bomb drops from the sky, destroying him.


It at first appears to be a horrible, horrible TV comedy sketch. A bearded Islamic fighter, identified as some as being Ajnad al-Sham, gives a propaganda speech to the camera as a bomb drops from the sky, destroying him. The agonized cries of both him and his camera ... continue reading

Evidence mounts: U.S. supplying ISIS, herding fighters towards Syria to attack Assad Watch

Image of A fighter poses with what is reported to be to be U.S. supplies.

By David Drudge (California Network)

The pattern is becoming even clearer. Obama is supplying ISIS in Syria, while bombing them in Iraq. It is becoming apparent that the Obama administration is using the military to nudge ISIS towards Assad as part of its ongoing campaign to reshape the Middle East. LOS ... continue reading

How to balance compassion with security concerns with influx of Syrian refugees Watch

Image of In the wake of the attacks, U.S. Catholic bishops have asked Americans not to scapegoat all Syrian refugees as possible terrorists and to remember their dire humanitarian plight.

By Matt Hadro, CNA/EWTN News

As the U.S. plans to increase its intake of Syrian refugees to 10,000 next year, Americans - including Catholics - are trying to balance national security concerns with compassion for the refugees. Washington D.C. (CNA) - "Americans need to understand that ... continue reading

The one thing ISIS is afraid of - and it's not what you think! Watch

Image of Nicolas Hénin was an ISIS hostage for ten months, during which he observed the remarkable ignorance of Islam extremists.


In a blog written by Nicolas Hénin, posted to, Hénin wrote what life was like as an ISIS hostage, and revealed the one thing ISIS fears most. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - During his ten-month captivity, Hénin observed the extremist view of ... continue reading

UPDATE: Did the U.S. military actually know they were bombing the Doctors Without Borders hospital full of innocent people? Watch

Image of The burned Doctors Without Borders hospital following explosions in the city of Kunduz, on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015 (Médecins Sans Frontières/AP).


In a log released by Doctors Without Borders on Thursday for a report on the October 3 bombing of its Kunduz, Afghanistan medical facility, it was revealed that the United States military was aware the building was not in use as a Taliban headquarters. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

You won't believe what happened to these misguided teens who joined ISIS Watch

Image of Sabina Selimovic was only 15-years-old when she disappeared from her home in Austria and resurfaced as a married woman in Syria after joining ISIS.


Two Austrian teenagers joined ISIS and became "poster girls" last year. Since then, one has been reportedly beaten to death during an attempt to escape Syria, while the other has been declared missing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The teenagers, Samra Kesinovic ... continue reading

All Middle East News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 11:1-10
1 A shoot will spring from the stock of Jesse, a new shoot will grow from ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 72:1, 7-8, 12-13, 17
1 [Of Solomon] God, endow the king with your own fair judgement, the son ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 10:21-24
21 Just at this time, filled with joy by the Holy Spirit, he said, 'I ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 1st, 2015 Image

St. Eligius
December 1: Eligius (also known as Eloi) was born around 590 ... Read More