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Nephew has Arafat medical file

  |   Nov. 22, 2004 at 8:03 AM
PARIS, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- No evidence exists that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died of poisoning, his nephew says.

But at a press conference in Paris, Nasser al-Quidwa did not definitely dismiss popular rumors among Palestinians that Israel had poisoned Arafat.

"We have no proof either in one direction or the other," Arafat's nephew told the noon briefing at the Sofitel Hotel in Paris shortly after retrieving Arafat's medical file from the Percy Military Hospital in Clamart.

Nonetheless, Quidwa blamed Arafat's death on Israeli authorities for confining the 75-year-old leader to his Ramallah office for three years, which arguably led to his failing health.

Arafat, 75, died earlier this month from a still-unexplained illness.

Arafat's wife, Suha, had tried to prevent Quidwa from retrieving the medical file, but the French government said as a member of Arafat's family he had a right to it.

Unnamed French medical sources, quoted by local media, have dismissed the poisoning theory, and say Arafat had a blood-related illness.

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