What did Arafat die of?

As I watched today his funeral on TV and then went to see the protests after the Friday sermon at Al Azhar mosque (which were surprisingly small, but then again the mood of the day was sadness rather than anger), this question kept coming back: what is the cause of Arafat's death. As this story on the rumors that he was poisoned by the Israelis -- a rumor started by Hamas -- shows, we still don't know. I wouldn't give much credence to the poison theory, but I think we need to know what happened. Did they pull the plug on him? Who made that decision? Or was it simply the result of the brain hemorrhage he was suffering from? If these questions aren't answer, the rumors are just going to keep spreading.

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.