- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Swiss scientists say they are 83 percent confident that deceased Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned after tests revealed at least 18 times the normal levels of radioactive polonium in his remains, Al Jazeera America first reported.

Swiss scientists at the University Centre of Legal Medicine in Lausanne, along with French and Russian teams, obtained the samples after his body was exhumed from a mausoleum in Ramallah last November, the report said. He died in 2004.

U.K. forensic scientist Dave Barclay told Al Jazeera that the test results undeniably show Arafat was murdered with polonium, a rare and highly radioactive element found in uranium ore.

“We found the smoking gun that caused his death. What we don’t know is who’s holding the gun at the time,” he said. “The main problem is the timeframe. If this was a murder that happened yesterday, you’d have witnesses and cell phone records, emails, bank transfers. In a nine-year-old case that type of information will be hard to obtain.”

Arafat’s widow, Suha Arafat, received a copy of the report in Paris on Tuesday.

“When they came with the results, I’m mourning Yasser again,” she told Al Jazeera. “It’s like you just told me he died.”

The Swiss report did not address, however, who killed the former leader, or why.

“We can’t point a finger at anyone,” Mrs. Arafat said. “The French are conducting a serious investigation. It takes time.”

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