On November 3, he slipped into a coma. Eight days later he was dead. French doctors prepared a 558-page report. They claimed death from blood disorder complications.
They likely concealed what they knew. They described what they called "disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)." It causes malignancy and infection, they said.
They claimed his blood vessels exhibited small clots. They deplete platelets and clotting factors needed to control bleeding. It can cause death by hemorrhaging.
They also called DIC a secondary condition. In other words, it wasn't the main cause of his illness or death. Something else was responsible. That issue was left unanswered.
Arafat's personal physician, Dr. Ashraf Al Kurdi, believed very likely he was poisoned. At the time, nothing was done to confirm it. Kurdi said Abbas blocked an autopsy. He had coverup in mind.
"They didn't want to do it," said Kurdi. "When you talked to them about an autopsy they would get fits. (Abbas) said it would disturb relations with France."
In suspected criminal cases, autopsies are automatic. Given the strong possibility that Arafat was poisoned, failure to determine cause of death was unconscionable.
In August 2007, Haaretz headlined "Arafat's doctor: There was HIV in his blood, but poison killed him," saying: