In late 2004, Yasser Arafat had a flu, according to his spokesman. Seventeen days later, he was dead.
Conspiracy theories have abounded since then. While doctors insist a severe hemorrhage led to his deadly stroke, others are convinced he was assassinated — by Israel's Mossad, by Palestinian extremists, or even by his own party.
The television network Al-Jazeera gave a Swiss research lab what it says are some of Ararat's old belongings. The result? Traces of a lethal radioactive agent, which could be used as a poison. Arafat's own family members, including his widow, who gave the articles to Al-Jazeera, have repeatedly called for a new autopsy, and it looks like they're getting their wish. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority, has given his consent to exhume Arafat's remains.
Dr. Ziad Asali says that regardless of the outcome, there will be clear winners — and losers — of this debacle. He's the president and founder of The American Task Force on Palestine. He's seen the harsh spotlight swing from Palestine's enemies to Arafat's trusted friends. And as a physician, he also knows how polonium could be used as a deadly poison.