A new report by French forensic investigators plays down the possibility that former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was assassinated through exposure to radioactive polonium, despite earlier suspicions, the BBC reported on Tuesday.
The new assessment asserts that a "generalized infection" was probably responsible for Arafat's 2004 demise. The Palestinian Liberation Front leader died in a French military hospital after experiencing a severe stroke, which physicians attributed at the time to a blood ailment of uncertain origin.
Arafat's remains were unearthed last year so tissue samples could be removed and transferred for laboratory testing in Europe. The latest determination out of France came less than a month after a Swiss experts reported a "moderate" possibility that Arafat was deliberately poisoned with polonium. The latter findings cited indications that the leader's body contained a significant quantity of the substance at the time of his death.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian head of a related probe on Tuesday said he is on the cusp of assigning formal blame for the death, Reuters reported. Investigation leader Tawfiq Tirawi last month called Israel the "only suspect" in the possible killing, though the nation asserts it had no involvement.
This article was published in Global Security Newswire, which is produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group working to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.