Yasser Arafat 'poisoned by polonium' in 2004 a forensics team has found.

Yasser Arafat 'poisoned by polonium'

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned to death in 2004 with radioactive polonium a Swiss forensic team has said.

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John Kerry joins Middle East peace talks

US Secretary of State John Kerry disembarks from his plane upon his arrival at Ben Gurion International airport. Credit: Reuters

US secretary of state John Kerry is heading back to the Middle East for talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders as peace negotiations hit a critical make-or-break point.

The US state department said Mr Kerry will travel to Israel and the Palestinian territories amid a flurry of diplomatic activity by American mediators, in the hope of salvaging the troubled negotiations and getting them to extend the talks beyond a current late-April deadline.

Charles to be welcomed to Middle East by Saudi prince

Prince Charles will be welcomed in Riyadh by Prince Miteb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, chairman of the National Guard when he arrives in the country later today.

His Royal Highness' second visit to the kingdom in my time here as ambassador exemplifies our wish to engage at the most senior levels and our determination to sustain the personal touch.

At a time of enormous turmoil and human agony in the Middle East, seen today perhaps most acutely in Syria, the Prince's advocacy of interfaith understanding and dialogue between communities is needed more than ever. His Majesty the King shares this deep concern.

I know that he and His Royal Highness will have much to discuss about the need for reconciliation and their hopes for the region's future.

– Sir John Jenkins, the UK's ambassador to Saudi Arabia

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Prince Charles begins tour of the Middle East

The Prince of Wales will fly to the Middle East for a short tour. Charles's four-day trip to Saudi Arabia and Qatar comes just under a year since he last toured the two nations.

Prince Charles. Credit: Dan Kitwood/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The heir to the throne's tour has a large majority of private engagements. But highlights of his public events include a tour of an old Saudi Arabian city and in the Qatari capital Doha he will visit a leading museum.

Radioactivity expert: Certainty of findings 'limited'

An expert in radioactivity measurements told ITV News that while he believes the scientists who concluded Arafat was poisoned did a "thorough and careful job" and considered factors that could impact their findings, the seven-year delay makes the statistical certainty of their conclusions "limited".

The number of polonium atoms which were initially present at the time of his death would have reduced by a factor of at least one million compared to what could be measured now, seven years later...thus any radioactivity from such a sample would be much harder to measure now compared to a time period closer to his time of death.

The measurements are further complicated by the fact that 210-Polonium is present in measurable amounts in the natural background radiation in the earth's crust and in normal, healthy biological materials such as human bone.

– Paddy Regan, Professor of Radionuclide Metrology at Surrey University

Watch: Arafat's widow: 'We are mourning Yasser all over again'

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Ashrawi: 'There must be justice for Arafat'

Hanan Ashrawi, who was close to Yasser Arafat and saw him shortly before he left for Paris has said that his illness looked "unnatural."

She said: "I talked to the medical teams that were examining him, they told me that unquestionably that he was poisoned, but they couldn't identify the poison."

Ms Ashrawi said that "we have to pursue now the people that are responsible justice has to be done."

Suha Arafat: 'We are mourning Yasser all over again'

The widow of Yasser Arafat, Suha, has described how weak the former Palestinian leader was before his death after it was revealed that scientists have found a high level of polonium 210 in his exhumed body.

Mrs Arafat said: "Words can't express my deep sorrow and the sorrow of my daughter, but mostly the anger - we are so angry. It's a political crime, a political assassination. It is so hard, we are mourning him again."

Video courtesy of Al Jazeera.

Read more: Arafat 'poisoned to death'

Israel denies any role in death of Yasser Arafat

The Israeli government has denied any role in the death of Yasser Arafat, saying that he was 75-years-old.

"This is more soap opera than science, it is the latest episode in the soap in which Suha opposes Arafat's successors," Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said.

The investigation amounted to "a highly superficial attempt to determine a cause of death".

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