Nov. 10 - Palestinians mark nine years since the death of Yasser Arafat, current President Mahmoud Abbas has vowed to continue the investigation into Arafat's death.
STORY: Palestinians in the West Bank marked the ninth anniversary of former president Yasser Arafat's death on Sunday. A memorial service to commemorate the late Palestinian leader was held at a cultural center in Ramallah. Arafat, a guerrilla leader who became the Palestinians' first president, contracted a sudden and mysterious illness in October 2004. He was flown to Paris in a French government plane but fell into a coma shortly after his arrival at the Percy military hospital in the suburb of Clamart, where he died on Nov. 11. The official cause of death was a massive stroke but French doctors said at the time they were unable to determine the origin of his illness. No autopsy was carried out. A Russian report quoted by Palestinian investigators on Friday said there was insufficient evidence to support the theory that Yasser Arafat died in 2004 by polonium poisoning. The findings were far weaker than those of a Swiss laboratory announced on Wednesday. Samples were extracted from Arafat's corpse last November by Swiss, French and Russian experts after an al-Jazeera documentary revealed unusually high amounts of the deadly Polonium isotope on his clothes. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said the truth about Arafat's death would come out in the end. "In this ceremony, I reassure my national responsibility as a leader to this nation, that we will continue searching for the truth. Though all obstacles, we have the right to know the truth. This a right that we will never give up, we are sure that the investigation committee will get the truth which we will announce to our people," Abbas said. The Israeli government has denied any role in his death.