Arafat death remains mystery

French medical reports of Yasser Arafat do not give conclusive results regarding what caused his death, The New York Times and Haaretz newspaper reported Thursday.

A stroke was the final blow that killed Arafat, but it is not clear what disease or illness lead to deterioration in his health, The New York Times concluded in its report.

While the Israeli Haaretz daily cites experts as saying that Arafat died of AIDS, poisoning or an illness, it points out that the medical report states that "a discussion among a large number of medical experts ... shows that it is impossible to pinpoint a cause that will explain the combination of symptoms that led to the death of the patient."

Arafat died in a Paris hospital Nov. 11 at the age of 75, reports the AP.

According to MSNBC, Arafat’s personal doctor, Ashraf al-Kurdi, who did not treat Arafat in his final weeks, said that he knows French doctors found the AIDS virus in Arafat’s blood, Haaretz reported. The virus given to Arafat by Israel was used to disguise poisoning, the paper quoted him as saying.

A senior Palestinian official, Saeb Erekat, said he had not seen the records but had been told by many doctors that it was still not clear what caused Arafat’s death. Erekat said he had not heard any proof that Arafat had AIDS or had been poisoned.

“The French report did not indicate any of these things,” Erekat said Thursday. “The family should ask the French doctors to publicize this and put an end to all these allegations and rumors.”

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s office called the accusations that Israel infected Arafat with AIDS or poisoned him “nonsense,” Haaretz said.

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