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What Killed Arafat? By: Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
Palestinian Media Watch | Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Palestinian Authority briefly closed down the Al-Jazeera offices in the West Bank last week after the news network broadcast an accusation that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas helped Israel kill Yasser Arafat in 2004 (see final item below). The conspiracy libel that Israel murdered Arafat has been disseminated by the Palestinian Authority since his death, but this is the first time that Abbas has been accused of being part of the plot. Other explanations have also been proposed.

2007 - Ahmad Jibril: The PA knows that Arafat died of AIDS:
After Arafat's death there were rumors that he had died of AIDS. Support for this came in 2007 from Ahmad Jibril, senior PLO leader and head of the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine). Jibril said on Hezbollah TV that a member of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's delegation had told him personally that Arafat died of AIDS.

Ahmad Jibril, PLO leader and head of PFLP:
"When [PA Chairman] Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) came to Damascus, I asked: 'What was found in the [medical] inquiry into the death of brother Arafat?'" One of the [delegation] said: 'Frankly, the French gave us the medical report, and the cause of Arafat's death was AIDS.'" [Al-Manar (Hezbollah TV) July 5, 2007]

Note that the above was broadcast on Hezbollah TV, not on Palestinian TV. This information has never been released to the Palestinian public through the Palestinian media.

2004-2009 Conspiracy libel 1: Israel killed ArafatWhen Yasser Arafat became ill and died in November 2004, the Palestinian Authority created a conspiracy libel that Israel had poisoned him. To give credence to this libel, the PA concocted an international intrigue in which Israel initiated the murder plan, the US approved (with certain conditions), and the French doctors who treated Arafat concealed the truth in order to salvage the peace process.

Following are examples of PA libel that Israel killed Arafat:

Bassam Abu Sharif, former adviser to Arafat:
"According to the confirmed information I have, [Israeli Chief of Staff, Shaul] Mofaz spoke to [Israeli PM Ariel] Sharon in the following manner: 'This is a chance to get rid of Yasser Arafat...'

Sharon was silent for a moment, and then looked [at Mofaz and said], 'Only if it could be done in a way that the accusing finger wouldn't be pointed at Israel.' These are the exact words.

When I found out about this, I wrote a letter to... Yasser Arafat, in which I warned him of their desire to kill him, probably by means of poison. The letter's date is clear, this is the letter [shows the letter]. The black [marking] is [the marking of] Yasser Arafat, the lines were drawn by Yasser Arafat. This is the date, June 5, 2002... The Israelis planned to kill him by poison, because of Sharon's promise to the Americans that [Arafat] will not be killed by bombing.

The source, and this is the first time I'm saying it... I saw him after the death and burial of Arafat. I asked him, and he replied that the French know about this. I think that the French hid this matter because France is a powerful country that isn't interested in igniting the area, and is interested in peace and the establishment of a country for the Palestinian nation, and reviving the topic would mean that every Palestinian would see it as his duty to avenge [the death of] Yasser Arafat."

[PA TV (Fatah), Nov. 11, 2005]
Cartoon, PA daily

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