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Arafat's widow says she was quoted out of context about Palestinians poisoning Arafat

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is led out of his compound in the West Bank, by his wife Suha Arafat, to board a helicopter bound for France in order to seek medical attention for an unknown illness on 29 October 2004 in Ramallah, West Bank. [Hussein Hussein/PPO via Getty Images]
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is led out of his compound in the West Bank, by his wife Suha Arafat, to board a helicopter bound for France in order to seek medical attention for an unknown illness on 29 October 2004 in Ramallah, West Bank [Hussein Hussein/PPO via Getty Images]

The widow of late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat has said she was quoted out of context in a recent interview, reports Anadolu Agency.

"Arafat was definitely poisoned, not by Israel, but by a Palestinian," Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth quoted Suha Arafat as saying on Friday.

However, later in the day, she claimed she was quoted out of context and her words were misconstrued.

"Abu Ammar's case [the late president] is still before the courts, and I cannot accuse anyone of killing him, including Israel, because I do not have any evidence, and I also do not have evidence against anyone so far," she posted on her Facebook account in a clarification message.

"My statements have not changed since Abu Ammar was martyred. But I will not blame anyone without clear evidence. This is what I said in the interview and I will say it in other interviews."

The couple married secretly in Tunisia in 1990, when Suha was 27 and Arafat 61. Their daughter Zahwa was born five years later.

Read: Widow of late Palestine leader Arafat: 'Second Intifada was a mistake'

On November 11, 2004, Arafat died in France, under highly suspicious circumstances, at the age of 75. Until now, doctors have been unable to determine the exact cause of his death.

The Palestinian Authority has repeatedly insisted that Israel is behind the killing of Arafat while Tel Aviv has denied involvement.

In the interview, she was also quoted as saying that the 2000 Palestinian intifada was "Arafat's big mistake".

In the Facebook post, she added:

My opinion that the intifada was wrong was because we lost a lot and our war with them was unequal. I will not be afraid to give my opinion even if it is distorted, the truth will always brighten.

The uprising or intifada began in Jerusalem on September 30, two days after Ariel Sharon, then leader of Israel's ruling Likud party, stormed the Al-Aqsa Compound. It continued till February 2005 claiming the lives of 4,412 Palestinians and injuring more than 49,000.

Read: Remembering Yasser Arafat

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