Official: PA still awaiting Arafat test results

Test results offering insight into the death of Yasser Arafat were originally set to be released in September, a PA official said Saturday

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The results of a lab investigation into the cause of death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat are yet to be announced, a Palestinian Authority official said Saturday.

Tawfiq al-Tirawi, head of the Palestinian committee to investigate Arafat’s death, denied that there was any local or international pressure to delay the announcement of the test results.

He said foreign investigators had not yet released them.

Arafat’s body was exhumed in November of last year when scientists from France, Switzerland and Russia took samples from the nationalist leader’s corpse for laboratory testing.

The deadline for announcing the test results was originally set for Sept. 15, al-Tirawi said, but due to an incomplete French investigation, the teams have yet to announce their findings.

The mystery surrounding Arafat’s death has confounded the Arab world for nearly a decade, and many have alleged that the leader was assassinated by poisoning.

In 2004, Arafat fell ill with flu-like symptoms in his Ramallah headquarters while it was being besieged by the Israeli military. He was flown to France for medical treatment, and died weeks later. Doctors could not determine the cause of death.

Israel has denied any involvement in the death of the Palestinian leader.

(Source / 12.10.2013)

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