Friday, September 09, 2005

The Final Days of Arafat

Ha'aretz is running an abridged version of the final chapter in Arafat's life from the revised edition of The Seventh War by journalists Avi Isacharoff and Amos Harel. It includes previously unrecounted details of Arafat's last days, as well as Arafat's post-mortem report, the Palestinian Authority's most closely guarded document.
In the new edition of their book "The Seventh War," which deals with the five-year confrontation between Israel and the Palestinians that began in September 2000, the journalists Avi Isacharoff (Israel Radio) and Amos Harel (Haaretz) devote a chapter to a detailed probe of the last weeks of Arafat's life. They make public for the first time the main points of the report drawn up by the medical team of Percy military hospital, in the Paris suburb of Clamart, where Arafat was treated in the last two weeks of his life. The French physicians do not think that Arafat was poisoned, but also refrain from adducing an alternative cause of death. "It is not possible to determine a cause that will explain the combination of symptoms that caused the patient's death," the summarizing report of the hospital's intensive care ward states.

An abridged version of the chapter on Arafat's death which includes, together with details of the medical report and the claims that the AIDS virus was found in his blood, a description of the struggles for control and succession that took place behind the scenes in the PA as Arafat lay dying is published here for the first time. (The revised edition of "The Seventh War" will be published at the end of this month by Yedioth Ahronoth in Hebrew.)
I haven't made it through the whole thing yet, but if this kind of thing interests you, it is well worth giving it a look.

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