Israel has issued an official denial of any involvement in the murder of the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, after tests conducted by a prestigious Swiss laboratory showed the presence of radioactive polonium in personal items used by Arafat shortly before his death.
Avi Dichter, the former head of the general Israeli intelligence service, Shin Bet, said: "Israel did not participate in the process of poisoning the food or materials of the Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, as neither it nor the Shin Bet was working on the preparation of food for Arafat, as he had many enemies inside and outside."
He told Israeli Army Radio, "The underlying disease that Arafat suffered from was wasting chances of peace, where he was able as a Palestinian leader to reach a peace agreement with Israel, but he missed this opportunity, which created problems for both parties."
The Palestinians have directed numerous accusations to the Israelis regarding Arafat's death. The late President was regarded by Tel Aviv as "an obstacle to peace who must be fought against".
Coming 8 years after Arafat's death, a nine months' long investigation by Aljazeera sought to uncover the circumstances of the death of the late Palestinian President, and revealed that his personal belongings contained abnormal quantities of raw polonium, a rare and highly radioactive substance that can only be produced in a nuclear reactor.