As Purim approaches, thousands of Israeli children and families grapple with poverty
Dr. Roland Masse, a teacher of radiopathology at Percy Military Training Hospital, where PLO chairman Yasser Arafat was hospitalized before his death on November 11, 2004, has given the first interview related to Arafat’s death in eight years, telling The Times of Israel that there is “absolutely no way” the blood libel blaming Israel for poisoning the leader is true.
In the days leading up to the exhumation of Arafat to test him for polonium poisoning, Masse told The Times of Israel polonium poisoning symptoms would have been “impossible to miss” and said Arafat was tested at the hospital – which specializes in radiation detection – for radiation poisoning.
Masse said Arafat’s blood work did not present any of the symptoms of polonium poisoning, but did show a decrease in platelets.
Masse said that “abnormal levels of radioactive polonium Swiss scientists said they found eight years after Arafat’s death this July would have meant he was put in contact with such high levels of the material that doctors could not have missed it.
Masse was responsible for supervising national radioactivity in France in the 1990s as head of the Bureau for Protection against Ionizing Radiation.
When Arafat arrived at Percy, he was diagnosed with a blood disorder which caused blood clots throughout the body, a condition which could have been caused by a number of diseases.
Arafat’s condition deteriorated quickly, he fell into a coma on November 3, and died eight days later.
Arafat’s tomb will be exhumed on November 26 for further investigation.
Rumors have circulated around the Arab world that Israel is responsible for Arafat’s death – Israel has denied this allegation.
About the Author: Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
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