Following are excerpts from an interview with Bassam Abu Sharif, former political advisor to Yasser Arafat, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on August 3, 2007.
Bassam Abu Sharif: For a long period of time, I wasn't just an advisor close to Yasser Arafat - I lived with Yasser Arafat. I traveled with him, and I would even sleep in the same safe houses with him. I saw in him a commander, a father, a brother, a giant – a giant with sharp perception, a giant who could put any political development in its place. He was aware of any conspiracy against us and how to confront it.
When I wrote him a letter, more than a year before his death, I was 100% certain of what I was writing – that they would try to poison and kill him, just like they did to the great genius Wadi' Haddad. Any Palestinian giant, whom they failed to vanquish with their planes, tanks, and weapons – they tried to kill by other methods, especially poisoning. I wrote this to him, because I was convinced of it. I kept warning him. More than once I warned his doctors that they must pay attention to the red blood cells, because the type of poison Israel had used on Wadi' Haddad was meant to destroy the body's ability to produce red blood cells. That is what mercury usually does. You may read that suffered mercury poisoning. What does mercury do? Mercury spreads – like in a thermometer – until it sinks into the bone marrow. The bone marrow is where the blood cells are produced in the body, and if this production stops, the body dies gradually, step by step, until the problem reaches the brain. This Israeli poison takes about eight months to work, in order to avoid any suspicion. Circumstances change, but the poison continues to work.
What I saw when I looked at the late commander towards the end was identical to what I saw when I looked at Dr. Wadi' Haddad in his last days. It got to the point that I said to him: "Abu Ammar, your face..." He asked me: "Is it yellow?" and I said: "No, it is colorless." He said: "What?" and I said: "It is transparent." Yellow is a color, but his face had no color, no red blood cells. Several doctors know that I warned about this more than once.
It is a long story how I knew about this, and I won't go into it here, but I will give you, my colleagues, what you in the press call a "scoop." I hereby declare that French President Chirac knows exactly how Yasser Arafat was killed, and that he intentionally concealed this, under the pretext of protecting Palestinian interests. The group of three French doctors who monitored Arafat know how Yasser Arafat was killed and what type of poison was used on him. I challenge Chirac and the three doctors to prove me wrong.