Shorts: After Arafat

Even in death, a controversy

jerusalem (jta) | Yasser Arafat died from a blood condition, Le Monde reported.

Citing French doctors close to Arafat’s case, the paper reported Wednesday, Nov. 17, that Arafat died of a blood disease known as disseminated intravascular coagulation.

The disease is manifested by a complete breakdown of the blood’s coagulation systems, the medical sources said. The condition is a symptom of a disease either of cancerous or infectious origin, the paper quoted the doctors as saying.

Doctors established that Arafat was not poisoned shortly after the Palestinian leader was admitted to a French military hospital near Paris, the paper added. Arafat died at the hospital on Nov. 11 and was buried in his presidential compound in Ramallah.

Since his death, some Palestinian officials, including the Palestinian Authority’s senior diplomat in Paris, Leila Shahid, have suggested he might have been poisoned. Other sources have suggested that Arafat died of AIDS, though no evidence to verify these rumors has appeared.

Soldier demoted over Arafat jibe

jerusalem (jta) | An Israeli soldier reportedly was demoted for gloating over the death of Yasser Arafat.

Yediot Achronot reported Nov. 16 that the corporal was stripped of his position as squad leader after telling his troops, “Arafat has died. Good riddance.”

According to the daily, the soldier’s superiors said the jibe contravened prohibitions on political discourse in the ranks. Military spokesmen did not immediately comment on the report.

Time magazine: Arafat skimmed money from gas trade

jerusalem (jta) | Yasser Arafat siphoned $2 million a month from the gas trade last year in the territories, Time magazine reported.

The skimming by the now-deceased Palestinian Authority president was discovered last year during an audit conducted by Palestinian Finance Minister Salem Fayyad. Discovery of the siphoning boosted the Palestinian Authority’s treasury and cut gas prices for Palestinians.

Barghouti to go free?

jerusalem (jta) | Jailed West Bank militia leader Marwan Barghouti could be released under a future peace deal, an Israeli Cabinet minister said. “Within the framework of a final or interim accord, it will be possible to consider releasing prisoners, including Marwan Barghouti,” Interior Minister Avraham Poraz told Army Radio on Nov. 14.

Many Palestinians expect Barghouti, who received five life prison terms in Israel for orchestrating deadly attacks by the al-Aksa Brigade, could run in Palestinian Authority elections now that Yasser Arafat is dead.

Poraz said Barghouti could help Israel implement its withdrawals from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank next year. “In the framework of these efforts, we need to look for new partners,” Poraz said. The Israeli government’s official stance is that Barghouti will stay behind bars.

It’s not the news

new york (jta) | CBS News has fired the producer responsible for interrupting a crime drama with a special report on the death of Yasser Arafat.

CBS apologized to viewers for breaking into “CSI: NY,” one of its top-rated shows, on Nov. 10. “An overly aggressive CBS News producer jumped the gun with a report that should have been offered to local stations for their late news. We sincerely regret the error,” the network said in a Nov. 11 statement. According to the source, the producer failed to follow standard procedures that require a senior CBS News executive to be consulted before interrupting regular programming.

The fact that Arafat already had been reported near death for several days also figured in the network’s decision.


After Arafat — Anxiety

From pariah to partner and back: Jews reflect on Arafat’s legacy

Face-to-face with Arafat

Encounters with the Palestinian leader

Where is the money?
Yasser takes a secret to the grave

Where did Arafat’s money go?

Meeting Arafat brought out my mean streak

‘Free Palestine’: But free it from whom?

Arafat: Peacemaker, peacebreaker or neither