Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat may have been poisoned with radioactive polonium, says a Swiss forensic report obtained by al-Jazeera.
The Swiss report said “unexpectedly high levels” of radioactive polonium had been found, which “moderately” supported the poisoning theory.
Parallel investigations are being carried out by French, Russian and Palestinian experts – one Russian official said last month that no traces of polonium had been found.
It is found in low doses in food and created naturally in the body, but can be fatal if ingested in high doses.
Arafat, who led the Palestine Liberation Organisation for 35 years and became the first president of the Palestinian Authority in 1996, fell violently ill in October 2004 at his compound.
France began a murder inquiry in August 2012 after Swiss experts working with a documentary crew found traces of radioactive polonium-210 on Arafat’s personal effects.
“Unexplained, elevated” level of polonium-210 on Arafat’s clothing, keffiyeh and toothbrush Last month, the head of the Russian Federal Medico-Biological Agency, Vladimir Uiba, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying that Arafat “could not have been poisoned with polonium”, saying that test carried out by Russian experts “found no traces of this substance”.
The head of the Palestinian investigation team, Tawfiq Tirawi, confirmed on Tuesday that the Russian and Swiss reports had been delivered.