Palestinians agree to internationalise Arafat’s death probe

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By Xinhua/NAN

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 Palestinians agreed with the Arab League to internationalise investigations of the death circumstances of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Chief Palestinian Negotiator, Saeb Erekat, told Xinhua on Tuesday.

Erekat said in an interview with Xinhua in his office that “the next expected moves include moving the file of Arafat’s death to the UN Security Council and the General Assembly.’’

He added that “the file will be taken to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague.’’ He said this was an agreement reached between the Palestinian leadership and the Arab League.

“It was also agreed that in case the results of test in the samples from Arafat’s body are announced, the file will be internationalised.”

Last week, the Qatari-based al-Jazeera TV  reported that Swiss scientists had found at least 18 times the normal levels of radioactive polonium in the tested samples taken from Arafat’s remains, adding that they were confident that Arafat was poisoned.

Swiss, Russian and French scientists opened Arafat’s grave and took samples from his body one year ago.

The results were announced in a 108-page report showing that Arafat’s death was not natural, and that he certainly died of being poisoned by radioactive polonium.

“President Mahmoud Abbas, who visited Egypt this week, discussed with the Egyptian and Arab leaders the possibilities of internationalising the file of Arafat’s death.

“It was agreed to send different security and medical committees to the Arab League in Cairo to debate the issue,”Erekat said.

Meanwhile, Erekat said that during his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, held in Amman, Abbas requested from the U.S. not to object the Palestinian decision turning to the Security Council to obtain an international resolution for investigating Arafat’s death.

He said that Kerry promised Abbas to help in this regard, adding that the Palestinian attitude to go to the international institutions “is not related to the Palestinian commitment not to refer to the international organisations during the nine-month period of the direct peace talks with Israel.’’

Arafat, the former Chairman of Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the Founder of Fatah Movement, died at the age of 75 years in a French hospital on November 11, 2004. (Xinhua/NAN)


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