The former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat may have been poisoned with polonium shortly before his death in 2004, according to a documentary aired by Al Jazeera TV on Tuesday. Arafat's personal effects contained abnormal and high levels of polonium-210, concluded Dr. Francois Bochud, director of the Institute of Radiophysics in Lausanne, Switzerland, who analyzed objects that belonged to the former leader.
Polonium is a radioactive and toxic chemical element which is being effective by inhalation or ingestion.
Clothing of Yasser Arafat, his toothbrush and his hat were provided to Al-Jazeera by the widow of the late President of the Palestinian Authority in order to conduct laboratory tests, the first since his death. These results suggest that he was intoxicated when he died.
Yasser Arafat died on Nov. 11, 2004 at the Percy military hospital, a suburb of Paris, at the age of 75. He has suddenly fallen ill a few weeks earlier. After undergoing on Oct. 25 a first surgery in his headquarters in Ramallah, West Bank, Arafat's health deteriorated and he started to complain about stomach pains and vomiting.
The best known case of using Polonium for assassination is that of the former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, who died in December 2006 .According to a British report, the deadly substance had been poured into his tea, when he met another former Russian spy in a sushi restaurant in London.