French tests say Arafat’s death ‘was not the result of poisoning’

A member of Fatah movement's security forces stands guard next to a poster of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on December 3, 2013 in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el-Helweh, in southern Lebanon. French experts have ruled out a theory that Yasser Arafat was killed by poisoning, a source close to the investigation into the Palestinian leader's 2004 death told AFP. Mahmoud Zayyat / AFP - Getty Images

PARIS – French forensic tests have concluded that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat did not die of poisoning, as had been suggested by an earlier report, a source who saw the conclusions of the report said on Tuesday.

"The results of the analyses allow us to conclude that the death was not the result of poisoning," the source told Reuters, quoting from conclusions of a report by French forensic experts handed over to Arafat's widow Suha.

Swiss forensic experts said last month results from their tests of samples taken from Arafat's body were consistent with polonium poisoning but were not absolute proof that he died that way.

Arafat died in a French hospital in November 2004, four weeks after falling ill after a meal with vomiting and stomach pains.

The official cause of death was a massive stroke but French doctors said at the time they were unable to determine the origin of his illness. No autopsy was carried out.