London, Asharq Al-Awsat—In exclusive comments to Asharq Al-Awsat, the widow of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat revealed that her husband had asked her to discover what had sickened him prior to his death.
Suha Arafat said: “Abu Ammar [Yasser Arafat] told me, ‘My case is not natural and you must find out what has sickened me. These are not normal symptoms.’”
Arafat’s widow’s latest comments come after Swiss scientists confirmed that Arafat had ingested lethal radioactive polonium-210 before his death nine years ago.
“You don’t accidentally or voluntarily absorb a source of polonium—it’s not something that appears in the environment like that,” said Patrice Mangin, director of the laboratory that tested tissue samples to determine the former Palestinian leader’s cause of death.
Suha Arafat called on the Palestinian leadership to seek justice for her husband. She said: “The assassination of Abu Ammar has now been confirmed and there can be no doubt about this, and the Swiss scientists personally expressed their willingness to certify this and appear before any court as witnesses.”
She told Asharq Al-Awsat: “When Abu Ammar would come to Gaza, he would eat what I cooked for him at home, but in Ramallah, where he was besieged, he would eat what everybody else ate.”
Arafat was besieged by Israeli forces in his headquarters in Ramallah in the months before his death, and the Palestinians are now pointing the finger at Israel for Arafat’s polonium poisoning.
The Palestinian committee investigating Yasser Arafat’s death has said that Israel is the “only suspect.” During a press conference in Ramallah, the head of the committee, Tawfik Terawi, explicitly blamed Tel Aviv for the death.
“I say, with all the details available about Yasser Arafat’s death, that he was killed and that Israel killed him,” he said.
“We say that Israel is the prime, fundamental and only suspect in the case of Yasser Arafat’s assassination, and we will continue to carry out a thorough investigation to find out and confirm all the details and all elements of the case,” he added.