Questions regarding Arafat’s death resurface after massive document leak

Thousands of documents and pages of interviews from PA probe into Yasser Arafat’s death leaked, leading investigator to accuse Abbas of sabotaging the investigation.

By World Israel News Staff

Questions regarding the death of then-Palestinian Authority chairman and Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasser Arafat have resurfaced, following a massive document leak last week.

Hundreds of documents and thousands of pages of testimony were leaked to social media last week in an affair, dubbed the “Palestinian Wikileaks,” that has roiled internal Palestinian Authority politics and rekindled suspicions of foul play in Arafat’s demise.

The leak coincided with the 18th anniversary of the arch-terrorist’s death in November, 2004, in the midst of the Second Intifada.

The 75-year-old Arafat, who had been holed up in the chairman’s residence – the Muqata – in Ramallah, was first reported to be ill in late October of 2004.

As his condition worsened, Arafat was taken first to Jordan and then to France for treatment before falling into a coma on November 3rd and dying eight days later.

Arafat’s sudden illness, deterioration, and death fueled numerous theories, chief among them the possibility that he had been poisoned by Israeli agents, potentially with the help of elements inside the PA who were seeking to usurp power in Ramallah.

Read  Hamas emerges as newest cyber espionage powerhouse - report

Following Arafat’s death, the PA launched an investigation, which continues to operate 18 years later.

According to testimony taken during the years-long probe, senior PA officials implicated Arafat’s successor and current PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, telling investigators that before his death, Arafat viewed Abbas as a collaborator with Israel.

Now, Abbas’ supporters have accused chief investigator Tawfiq Tirawi of leaking the documents, a claim he has denied.

Tirawi accused PA security officials of failing to take the integrity of the probe seriously, claiming his work has been impeded for years, with last week’s leak only the latest challenge.

“For 13 years I have been with investigating the issue of Arafat’s death, Tirawi told Israel Hayom. “Suddenly, everybody comes out against me. Until now, we haven’t heard a word, and now a full-on assault…

“It began in 2016, when I was asked in an interview who will replace Mahmoud Abbas and I said that it will be either the commander of the revolution or someone from the Village League.”

Members of Abbas’ entourage interpreted Tirawi’s line of questioning as a tacit accusation against Abbas, souring relations between the two, Israel Hayom reported.

“I received various messages, such as ‘Go overseas, otherwise you will be put on trial and jailed and we will act against you in all sorts of ways.’ Somebody wants to silence me.”

Read  Hebron Arabs torture, massacre stray dogs for cash reward from mayor

“I appeared on Palestinian television and I appealed to the PLO and said, ‘Where are you headed? Hamas has conducted a coup in Gaza and now it is carrying out a quiet revolution in the West Bank by gaining control of professional organizations, universities and municipalities.’”

“After that I came under fire. People started to verbally assault me and my colleagues and launched a personal attack against me. Then it continued with the leaks, everything just to hurt me,” Tirawi said.