Israel Behind Arafat “Assassination”

Israel Behind Arafat “Assassination”Israel Behind Arafat “Assassination”

The head of the Palestinian team looking into the death of Yasser Arafat on Tuesday again accused Israel of assassinating the iconic Palestinian leader in a Paris hospital.

His comments came on the eve of the 11th anniversary of Arafat’s death and two months after French judges closed an investigation into claims he was murdered, without bringing any charges, AFP reported.

“The inquiry committee has been able to identify the assassin of former president Yasser Arafat,” said Tawfiq Tirawi, the head of the probe opened in 2009.

“Israel is responsible,” he said, without giving further details other than to add that “we still need some time to elucidate the exact circumstances of this assassination”.

Arafat died in Percy military hospital near Paris aged 75 in November 2004 after developing stomach pains while at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

His widow Suha lodged a complaint at a court in France in 2012, claiming that her husband was assassinated, sparking an inquiry.

Many Palestinians believe that Israel poisoned Arafat and the Palestinian probe into his death has accused the Israeli regime of assassinating him before–a charge Israel flatly denies.

  Israel Must Keep Control

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that the “real test” of a two-state solution is Palestinians, Arabs and the world accepting Israeli security control over areas ceded in a peace deal.

Netanyahu, who later met with members of the US Congress, said Israel must be able to defend itself, by itself. This includes threats from any territory Israel relinquishes, including hundreds of kilometers of borders subject to potential tunneling.

Palestinians oppose this demand because they see it as blocking a “fully sovereign” Palestinian state, the Israeli leader said at the Center for American Progress think tank in Washington. But he cited World War II losers, Germany and Japan, and South Korea, as countries that prospered under foreign security control.

Netanyahiu did not say if Israel could eventually relinquish security control west of the Jordan River–part of past US peace plans.