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Widow Stunned Over French Report Blaming 'Old Age' In Arafat Death

Suha Arafat poses in front of a portrait of her late husband, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, before watching a wreath-laying ceremony after her husband's exhumation in the West Bank city of Ramallah in November 2012.
The widow of Yasser Arafat says she is stunned after French scientists said the Palestinian leader had not died from poisoning by radioactive polonium.

The French team reportedly concluded that Arafat's death in 2004 was due to old age following an infection.

A Swiss forensic team last month said polonium poisoning was a possible cause of Arafat’s 2004 death in Paris at age 75, but that absolute proof was not available.

After she learned on December 3 of the French team’s findings, Suha Arafat said she was shaken by the contradictions in the two reports.

She is expected to ask for experts to try to reconcile the different findings of the Swiss and French reports.

Reports quote Palestinian officials as dismissing the French findings as politicized.

Israel, which has rejected allegations it assassinated Arafat, said it was “not surprised” by the French report.

Some Palestinian officials have accused arch rival Israel of killing Arafat, although they have generally stopped short of alleging it was done through polonium poisoning.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP