|Taking samples from Arafat's hat (Photo: Al-Jazeera)|
By Elior Levy
Conspiracy theories surrounding Yasser Arafat's death have resurfaced eight years after his passing. The former Palestinian Authority chairman may (have) died of radioactive poisoning, Al Jazeera reported Tuesday. The report is based on the findings of tests performed by a Swiss laboratory and exposed in a new documentary film.
The Institut de Radiophysique in Lausanne tested samples taken from Arafat's personal belongings including his clothes, his toothbrush and even his iconic kaffiyeh. The personal effects were provided by Arafat's widow Suha.
“I can confirm to you that we measured an unexplained, elevated amount of unsupported polonium-210 in the belongings of Mr. Arafat that contained stains of biological fluids,” said Dr. Francois Bochud, the director of the institute.
Polonium’s most famous victim was Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian spy-turned-dissident who died in London in 2006 after a lingering illness, Al-Jazeera reported.
A nine-month Al Jazeera investigation also suggests that Arafat was in good health until he suddenly fell ill on October 12, 2004, countering rumors he was infected with HIV.