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Report on Arafat’s Death Sought

From Associated Press

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ahmed Korei asked France on Monday to release the medical records of the late President Yasser Arafat, Korei’s office said.

Arafat, 75, died Thursday in a French hospital, where he was taken Oct. 29 for treatment after his health deteriorated. Neither Palestinian officials nor Arafat’s French medical team announced the cause of death.

Korei asked France for the “full medical report into the death of President Arafat and the reasons for his death,” the statement said.

French Foreign Ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous, however, said late Monday that France had not yet received a formal request. “As soon as we receive one, we will examine it fully,” he said.

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The intense secrecy surrounding Arafat’s final days has aroused frustration and contributed to rumors in many parts of the Arab world.

On Friday, just hours before Arafat’s funeral, his Jordanian physician, Dr. Ashraf Kurdi, called for an autopsy, citing poisoning as a possible cause of Arafat’s death.

But on Saturday, Nasser Kidwa, the Palestinian envoy to the United Nations and Arafat’s nephew, said there was no evidence that Arafat had been poisoned. Nevertheless, he too called for an investigation.

Israel -- which would be suspected if Arafat had been poisoned -- denied accusations of wrongdoing. Officials noted that they allowed foreign medical teams to examine the Palestinian leader at his West Bank headquarters and permitted him to fly to France for treatment.


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