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Why is the PA reluctant to investigate Arafat's death?

January 25, 2014 at 2:28 am

Out of nowhere, a sister of the late President Yasser Arafat has insisted that no exhumation of his remains should take place. We have never heard of this honourable lady before because she has never commented until now on any aspect the late President’s death and alleged assassination.

It does not take a genius to surmise that the PA has put this lady up to make her demand, not least because she must have known about the intention to exhume Arafat’s remains for examination due to the concerns raised about the manner of his death. She has had plenty of time to try to stop it but made no effort to do so until now.

We know that she is not an executor of Yasser Arafat’s estate; that issue is linked to French law which limits the matter to his wife and daughter. So why did the Authority summon the man’s sister to make her demands now, even though the PA had agreed previously to the investigation and exhumation? Indeed, it had announced that it will receive the Swiss team which confirmed the presence of plutonium in Arafat’s belongings after they had been tested as per a request by an Aljazeera journalist. At the same time, the PA agreed to receive the French legal investigations team, based on the law suit filed by his wife in a French court.

The possible reason for the sudden reluctance to allow the exhumation to go ahead is the French judge’s request to investigate the people who surrounded Arafat during his last days, in order to find out how the poison got to Arafat’s body if, indeed, that is what happened.

At this point, the PA refused to cooperate and demanded that it has its own team working in partnership with the French. The French judge has refused, as the victim of the crime died in France, even if the process started elsewhere.

The PA has had eight years in which to investigate the allegations and mystery surrounding Arafat’s death, but it did nothing. In fact, some of the prominent PA/Fatah members denied that he had been poisoned. Some even accused the man of having AIDS. The question is: was this “an inside job”?

The Aljazeera report put the PA in a difficult position; it would like to see the case disappear altogether, not least because it reminds some of the PA officials of the person whom they conspired against in collaboration with the Israelis and Americans. We shan’t even discuss now the attempted coup led by Mohamed Dahlan, supported by Mahmoud Abbas.

This group cannot be trusted with this kind of investigation and the PA will do all it can in order to hide the truth and avoid having to do anything in response to the crime and/or the criminals involved. After all, they don’t respond to the crimes of Benjamin Netanyahu, so what else can we expect?
It’s another major scandal involving the Palestinian Authority but these are people who do not care about scandals. They have become unbelievably passive; sold the right of return; gave the Israelis major concessions; and announce that Israel was made to stay. All of this means that, frankly, the PA can’t surprise us any more.

The author is a Jordanian writer. This article is a translation of the Arabic which appeared in the Jordanian daily, Ad Dustour on 12 November 2012

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.