Who Profited by Planting Polonium on Arafat’s Belongings & Blaming Israel?


Even though evidence of radioactively poisoning Arafat appears impossible, accusing Israel made headlines & documentaries.

In making this claim, so far only one stands above all others to profit professionally and financially.

By Judy Hantman


Have you ever wondered what happened to the forensic results of Arafat’s remains, exhumed in November, 2012? Undoubtedly, we are witnessing another cover up of the facts in order to vilify Israel.

Yasser Arafat's mausoleum, where tarpaulin obscured the entrance during his exhumation. - Photo Screenshot

Yasser Arafat’s mausoleum, where tarpaulin obscured the entrance during his exhumation. – Photo Screenshot

The reinvestigation into Arafat’s death started with Clayton Swisher, former special agent with the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service and former body guard to Arafat, turned journalist for Al-Jazeera.

According to New Castle News , in late 2011, Swisher traveled to Malta and obtained the medical files from Arafat’s widow, Suha Arafat. The medical files show that in late October, 2004, Arafat was admitted to Percy military hospital in Clamart, near Paris, which specializes in the related field of radiation detection. He was diagnosed with “thrombocytopenia and persistent digestive problems.” The doctors specified that Arafat was suffering from Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC), a blood disorder which leads to the formation of small blood clots throughout the body and can be the result of a number of diseases. Arafat fell into a coma on November 3 and died eight days later.

Suha Arafat later gave Swisher a gym bag containing her husband’s last personal belongings, which had been in Arafat’s possession at Percy hospital where he died. Given the fact that the medical reports had ruled out symptoms of radioactive or any other form of poisoning, it seems unlikely that the personal belongings would be considered of any importance by an objective investigator. So what were Swisher’s motives for requesting or accepting these items?

Swisher took all the items Suha Arafat had given him to Europe’s leading forensic laboratory, the University Centre for Legal Medicine in Lausanne, Switzerland. We can only surmise what happened to Arafat’s belongings between the time they were handed to him in Malta and their arrival at the laboratory in Switzerland. 

New Castle News reported that the scientists tested the contents of the gym bag, including clothing which was claimed to have been worn just before the sudden onset of Arafat’s sickness. They found Arafat’s hair, a blood stain from his hospital gown, a urine stain from his underwear, his toothbrush and sweat stains from his shirt collar and confirmed his DNA through samples provided by his daughter and widow. The samples were tested by radiological experts who discovered elevated levels of polonium 210. “The results were astounding, and exceeded my wildest expectations,” Swisher said. 

Could Arafat have died of polonium poisoning? In a telephone interview with the Times of Israel, Dr. Roland Masse, a prestigious specialist on radioactivity and professor at Percy hospital, said that Arafat had been tested for radioactive poisoning and its symptoms would have been ‘impossible to miss’. “When in contact with high levels of polonium, the body suffers from acute radiation which translates into a state of anemia and a severe decrease in white blood cells. And yet Arafat did not present any of those symptoms. “What did decrease was his platelets, not his white blood cells,” said Masse.

Dr. Masse added that while Arafat’s medical report contains no specific reference to a test for polonium, it does specify that a number of tests were conducted to check if the patient had been subjected to radioactive substances. Dr. Masse concluded that there is “absolutely no way” the Palestinian leader was poisoned. “A lethal level of polonium simply cannot go unnoticed,” he said. He added that if  “abnormal levels of radioactive polonium” were found on Arafat’s clothing eight years after his death, the Palestinian leader would have had to be in contact with an extremely high level of the chemical before his death. This would have been impossible to miss for any doctor at the time, not to mention dangerous for other people surrounding Arafat.

Speaking of the poisoning of the Russian organized crime investigator assassinated in the UK, Masse said, “Remember the Litvinenko case?  We discovered after his death (Litvinenko’s) that hundreds of people had been subjected to various levels of contamination, in the UK and other countries.” This was not the case with Arafat.   

Not surprisingly, Al Jazeera was the first to report the claims of polonium poisoning, and fingers were pointed at Israel. Also not surprisingly, the rampant accusations circulating the globe were devoid of all clear thinking, common sense and scientific feasibility. According to the doctor’s reports, we know that Arafat was not suffering from polonium poisoning before he died, and scientists confirm that had high levels of polonium been present at the time of Arafat’s death, they would have dissipated to miniscule levels eight years later; much lower than the levels that had been detected by the laboratory in Switzerland.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Fanghänel is director of the Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU) in Karlsruhe, Germany, a joint research center with the European Commission. Among others things, the ITU carries out nuclear forensic testing. In an interview with DW News, Dr. Fanghänel said that he doubts that polonium-210, said to have been hidden in the former Palestinian Presidents clothing, would still be detectable today.  “I assume that it would be very difficult to prove poisoning after eight years,” he said. “Around 20 half-life periods would have passed since then. After 20 half-life periods, only a few millionths of the original material will still be present.”… “The question is this: Is the amount detected significantly higher than that which is naturally present in the environment? Due to the half-life period and the period of time which has since elapsed, I’m assuming it would be extremely difficult to prove with any certainty that this is the polonium-210 which came into contact with the clothing ten years ago.”

Regardless of all the evidence against Arafat’s murder, Suha Arafat insisted on a postmortem on her husband’s remains, which was carried out in November, 2012. The Palestinian Authority refused to allow the media to observe the exhumation of Arafat’s body and the collection of samples, which was carried out under a blue tarpaulin. The samples were handed over to scientists from French, Swiss and Russian laboratories, the latter being called in by the PA for independent examination. The laboratories said the results would be out by March, 2013. In March, they postponed the date to the end of May.   

Strangely, Swisher did not wait for the forensic results of the investigation to before releasing a film entitled “What Killed Arafat?”. The film has won the 2013 Communicator Award for Excellence, was nominated for several awards and earned nominations for the Royal Television Society 2013 “Scoop of the Year.”    

Swisher, is a defender of Hamas and in December, 2012, tweeted the erroneous claim that Palestinian rocket attacks at Israeli civilians were legal and legitimate.

Clayton Swisher, Al-Jazeera

 Clayton Tweet

There is no evidence whatsoever that Arafat died from polonium poisoning and it is extremely unlikely that high levels of the substance would be present eight years later. So who planted the polonium on Arafat’s belongings? Many have accused Sura Arafat of planting evidence against Israel in order to claim compensation. But why would she then authorize Arafat’s exhumation knowing that the forensic scientists would find nothing? It seems very unlikely. The same is also true for the Palestinian Authority, unless they also intended to contaminate Arafat’s remains, which again seems unlikely. It would have been very difficult to avoid contamination of the area and all those exposed to it.

Only one other person was in possession of Arafat’s belongings, which brings us back to the Clayton Swisher. Could the anti-Israel vainglory of an investigative journalist lead him to contrive his own investigation by planting a deadly radioactive substance? I will leave you to draw your own conclusions.