[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Monday, 22 November, 2004, 12:56 GMT
Arafat doctors found 'no poison'
Memorials for Yasser Arafat in Gaza
Palestinians have a right to know, says Mr Kidwa
Tests on Yasser Arafat's body showed no traces of any known poisons, according to medical files released on Monday.

"There is no clear diagnosis," said Palestinian envoy to the UN Nasser al-Kidwa, but he declined to confirm that Mr Arafat had not been poisoned.

Mr Arafat died in a military hospital in France on 11 November from a so-far unexplained illness.

France handed over the records to Mr Kidwa, who is also Mr Arafat's nephew, despite objections from his widow.

Mr Kidwa told a news conference that he had not had time to study the full report - which is 558 pages long - and was speaking from a non-medical standpoint.

Arafat does not belong to a person or a family, but the whole Palestinian people
Nasser al-Kidwa
"But two central points remain: There is no clear diagnosis of the reason for the death and the toxicological tests were made and no known poison was found."

Disclosure row

Mr Kidwa added that the Palestinian people had the right to know the truth about how their 75-year-old leader had died.

The issue of Arafat's cause of death has been clouded by a row between the Palestinian Authority and his widow, Suha Arafat.

Her lawyers argued that under French law she alone had the right to see the report and to choose whether to divulge it.

"I can understand the feeling of a wife to keep the information and to remain the unique source but we have to consider the political view... not only the personal," Mr Kidwa told journalists.

"Arafat does not belong to a person or a family, but the whole Palestinian people."

He said he would hand over the report to the Palestinian Authority, which had set up a committee to study it.




Israel and the Palestinians

KEY STORIES

FEATURES & ANALYSIS

Palestinian women sit on a roof top of the home of a Palestinian family in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on 20 November 2006. Human shields
Palestinians adopt a new tactic to deter Israeli attacks, but this is a high-risk strategy

VIDEO AND AUDIO


PROFILES

 




PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific