No proof Arafat was poisoned, report says

PARIS — Extensive reports by French scientists into Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s death have ruled out poisoning by radioactive polonium, his wife said Tuesday. The results contradict earlier findings by a Swiss lab, and mean it is still unclear how Arafat died nine years ago.

Scientists from several countries have tried to determine whether polonium played a role in his death in a French military hospital in 2004.


Palestinians have long suspected Israel of poisoning him, which Israel denies.

After a 2012 report stating that traces of radioactive polonium were found on Arafat’s clothing, Arafat’s wife filed a legal complaint in France seeking an investigation into whether he was murdered.

Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
The day's top stories delivered every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

As part of that investigation, French investigators sought to have Arafat’s remains exhumed and ordered genetic, toxicology, medical, anatomical, and radiation tests on them. Suha Arafat and her lawyers were notified Tuesday of the results.

She told reporters in Paris that they exclude the possibility of poisoning by polonium, a rare and extremely lethal substance.

She said the French investigators do not rule out the possibility that he died of natural causes.

Associated Press

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.