In an interview with Hizballah's Al-Manar TV earlier this month, Ahmad Jibril, founder and leader of the Damascus-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, revealed a shocking conversation he recently had with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his staff.
Said Jibril: “When [Abbas] came to Damascus with his team, I asked them: 'What happened to the investigation into the death of [Arafat]? Is it conceivable that when [former Lebanese prime minister] Rafiq Hariri was killed, all hell broke loose, but the death of Yasser Arafat, is not investigate?”
Jibril, like many Palestinians, readily accepted the notion that Israel had assassinated Arafat, and wanted the Palestinian Authority to conduct an official investigation concluding as much. The response from Abbas' aides changed in an instant Jibril's view of his deceased mentor.
“They were silent, and then one of them said to me: 'To be honest, the French gave us the medical report, that stated that the cause of [Arafat's] death was AIDS.'”
Arafat eventually died in a Paris hospital after being airlifted out of Ramallah. Many speculated that the Palestinian leader, who was said to have had numerous homosexual relationships, had in fact contracted AIDS.
A clearly angered Jibril said that Abbas and every other member of Arafat's Fatah faction “should be happy that we got rid of the plague, which had been imposed upon them and upon the Palestinian people. The Fatah movement now has an opportunity to renew itself.”