'Suha Arafat admits husband premeditated Intifada'
By JPOST.COM STAFF 12/29/2012 07:33
Yasser Arafat’s widow, Suha, admitted that the late Palestinian leader
planned the second intifada, in an interview with Dubai TV earlier this
month, according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research
“Immediately after the failure of the Camp David [negotiations], I met him
in Paris upon his return.... Camp David had failed, and he said to me, ‘You
should remain in Paris.’ I asked him why, and he said, ‘Because I am going
to start an intifada. They want me to betray the Palestinian cause. They
want me to give up on our principles, and I will not do so,’” the research
institute translated Suha as saying.
“‘I do not want Zahwa’s [Arafat’s daughter’s] friends in the future to say
that Yasser Arafat abandoned the Palestinian cause and principles. I might
be martyred, but I shall bequeath our historical heritage to Zahwa and to
the children of Palestine,’” Suha, 49, quoted her late husband as saying.
Her comments run contrary to claims that former prime minister Ariel Sharon’s
infamous visit to the Temple Mount triggered the intifada, which was
launched in September 2000.
Yasser Arafat died in a Paris military hospital in 2004, and earlier this
year, Suha requested an autopsy to search for traces of a poisonous
She told Al Jazeera in July that a Swiss laboratory had detected high levels
of the radioactive isotope polonium in Arafat’s clothes, which have been in
storage since his death in 2004. Palestinians have accused Israel of causing
Arafat’s death, though no conclusive evidence has been presented publicly.
Israel denies killing him.
Arafat, who founded the Palestine Liberation Organization, died in a French
hospital at the age of 75. Doctors at the Percy military hospital in
Clamart, France, said he suffered from a brain hemorrhage and fell into a
coma before he died. He is buried beneath a glass tomb adjacent to the
offices of his successor, Mahmoud Abbas, in Ramallah.
Last month, forensic experts took samples of Arafat’s remains in an effort
to determine if he was murdered using the hard-to-trace radioactive poison.
They said the process would take several months.
Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this report.