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French Probe Reportedly Concludes Arafat Died Of Natural Causes

Palestinian protesters run for cover as Israeli forces (unseen) launch tear gas during clashes following a demonstration on November 11 marking the ninth anniversary of the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, seen in portrait.
A team of French scientists probing the death of Yasser Arafat has reportedly concluded that the Palestinian leader did not die of poisoning.

Sources involved in the investigation were quoted as saying on December 3 that Arafat died in 2004 of old age following an infection.

A previous report by Swiss scientists had concluded that tests on Arafat’s body showed "unexpected high activity" of polonium.

That report said the finding "moderately" supports the theory that he was poisoned.

Arafat's medical records say he died from a stroke resulting from a blood disorder.

His body was exhumed for testing last year amid accusations that Israel was behind his death.

In comments to AFP an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman said the conclusion of the French investigation is "no surprise."

A lawyer for Arafat’s widow, Suha, said her legal team will conduct a counter-study of its own. She has called her husband's death a "political assassination."

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa