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Sol Salbe: Web Site Analyses: Was Arafat Poisoned?

[The exact cause of Yasser Arafat's death remains a mystery. The Internet is flooded with speculation on the matter. Right-wing pro-Israeli sources are pushing the view that it was AIDS. Apart from displaying strongly anti-gay prejudices (and ignorance, as these days AIDS is transmitted more often by heterosexual contact) there is very little to their allegations. While some of Arafat's symptoms like weight loss fit the bill the sudden onslaught of the illness doesn't.

There has been some speculation that Arafat was poisoned. The head of the Palestinian delegation to Australia Ali Kazak earned the wrath of NSW Deputy Liberal Leader Barry O'Farrell for alleging precisely that.

This news service has hitherto dismissed this kind of speculation. There isn't likely to be any proof one way or the other and it is doubtful whether Arafat's death is really in Israel's best interest. Therefore we have pointed out that according to the left-leaning French newspaper Liberation the hospital doctors have ruled out the possibility of poisoning.

Things are not always what they seem and the possible postponement of the Sharon's disengagement plan as a result of Arafat death may indeed serve Sharon's interests after all. So there is a need to maintain an open mind. Let us not forget either that Israel threatened to kill Arafat and that the pros and cons of the matter were discussed in the Israeli media not that long ago.

The insistence of many who saw Arafat recently that he was in good health only a couple of months ago is certainly a cause for concern. (Uri Avnery repeats those comments today).

Under normal circumstances I wouldn't have translated the report below by Einyan Merkazi editor Rami Yitzhar. It does not bring out any new facts. But having distributed the opposite point of view the integrity of this News Service requires that this view gets at least as broad distribution as the contrary one that we have already put forward.

Einyan Merkazi [] is very similar to Australia's Among the good stories they do drop a few clangers. But the significance is that a truly patriotic Israeli with no love for Arafat (or for Uri Avnery and Gush shalom for that matter) goes to the trouble of analysing the possibility. Sol Salbe]

Hebrew original:
Hamas leader is convinced: Israel poisoned Arafat

Kahaled Meshaal knows first hand the Mossad modus operandi. He escaped death only when Israeli doctors arrived in Amman with the antidote to the poison that two bungling Mossad agents injected ineptly into him. Arafat's personal physician is demanding an autopsy. Rami Yitzhar weight the possibilities and is reminded of Silvan Shalom's denials of the News Zealand fiasco.

Rami Yitzhar Einyan Merkazi

One thing is certainly beyond doubt: on the day that Yasser Arafat is buried no one knows for sure what did he died of. Blood and tissue samples were taken over the previous fortnight during his stay in hospital. These were sent to quite a few medical centres in the US and Europe. But to this point nothing conclusive has been found. Apparently someone did find a way of introducing a miniscule quantity of material to the Chairman's body that caused his demise.

This causes serious suspicion that Yasser Arafat was poisoned. The fear is that it is an unknown substance that dissolves in the body without leaving any traces. Such a poisoning could be introduced through ingestion of water or food, a casual touch, a handshake, an unfelt injection with micro-syringe etc.

The head of the Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, has no doubts that it was Israel that poisoned Arafat with a special substance created in its sophisticated laboratories. As proof he brought up his own first hand experience. If it were not for the amazing ineptitude of the two bungling Mossad agents who injected him in an Amman street and were arrested as a result of their operational stupidity, Mishaal himself would have been long dead with no one being any wiser as to how and why.

On the eve of the funeral Mishaal said: "I am convinced that Israel poisoned the Rais [Leader, Head - the Arabic word is used in the Israeli media for Arafat - translator] but you won't be able to prove it. Just like my own case when it would have been impossible to prove that I was poisoned by Mossad agents."

Because of the operational failure and following the two agents arrest then Prime Minister Netanyahu released Sheikh Ahmed Yassin from jail. He dispatched two doctors to the Jordanian capital who saved Mishaal's life. In return the two agents were repatriated to Israel.

Arafat's personal physician, Professor Ashraf Al-Kurdi, said he doesn't rule out the possibility of poisoning. According to him " There's a high probability that it was poisoning and I do not understand why there was no autopsy."

The Jordanian Neurologist told reporters that Arafat's symptoms indicate the possibility of poisoning: He had gradually lost almost half his body weight. He was severely weakened. His body did not respond to either food or medicine. He had persistent, unaccounted for, stomach pains. All the treatments and examinations did not have any impact on the illness. That is why it was decided to transfer him to Paris in the hope that doctors there could save him.

No less than 17 internationally reputed specialists attended the Rais in the Muqata but none of them was able to diagnose the illness or save him. That's why he was transferred to the military hospital near Paris but they too failed in their mission.

Would Arafat's cause of death remain a mystery? Perhaps it was a rare form of cancer or a mysterious virus. Only time will tell. What [Israeli Foreign Minister] Silvan Shalom says in the meantime that the poisoning allegations are "scandalous and false." These are more less the same words that he used after the two bunglers were caught in New Zealand. But following some plea bargaining they pleaded guilty, spent some time in jails then they were released and sent home leaving the Israeli intelligence service looking battered again.

For Israel and the Jewish people it is better that the matter remains a mystery. Rather than it being revealed that Israel did indeed poisoned him. If this were to happen the conflict would never be solved.

[Translated by Sol Salbe]

[The independent Middle East News Service concentrates on providing alternative information chiefly from Israeli sources. It is generously sponsored by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the AJDS. These are expressed in its own statements]

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