In the latest film from Al Jazeera’s Investigation’s unit, Palestinian officials admit that they had suspected poisoning as the cause of Arafat’s sudden illness in 2004, contrary to their public statements.
Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat tells Al Jazeera that he called the US Consul General in Jerusalem and pleaded with him, “Please, President Arafat’s health is deteriorating. We suspect he was poisoned. So please, if you can contact the Israelis and get us the antidote, we will appreciate it.”
The film follows the exhumation of the Palestinian leader’s body from its resting place in Ramallah to Switzerland, where scientists found at least 18 times the normal levels of radioactive polonium in his remains. The report, was released last week.
Killing Arafat also shows how Al Jazeera’s Investigation’s team was placed under tight surveillance by Palestinian Authority security forces during the production of the documentary.
In the documentary, Yasser Arafat’s widow, Suha Arafat, calls on the Palestinian Authority to halt peace talks with Israel.
Speaking immediately after hearing the results of the Swiss report, she says, “I think the Palestinian Authority has to go till the end to know the truth about it. And I think they have to stop any kind of negotiations with Israel until they know what’s going on.”
Earlier in the film, Nasser Qudwa, Arafat’s nephew and former Palestinian Authority foreign minister, is asked why an autopsy was not performed on Arafat upon his death in 2004.
“If this had happened, I would think that it would have meant the end of the peace process as it stood at that time,”he tells Al Jazeera, “because the Palestinian people would have seen with their own eyes a huge betrayal and a big crime committed against them, a crime of killing their own leader.”
Full story at Al Jazeera