The personal physician of Yasser Arafat confirmed this weekend that HIV antibodies were present in the former Palestinian leader’s blood, adding that it was poison, not AIDS, that killed Arafat in November of 2004 in Paris.

Dr. Ashraf al-Kurdi, who had been Arafat’s personal physician for 18 years up until a few weeks prior to his death, claimed in an interview this weekend with Al Jazeera that the leader had been injected with HIV-infected blood prior to his death to cover up the poisoning. Due to French law, Arafat’s medical records were never released to anyone outside of his immediate family.

An interview last month with one of Arafat’s confidantes revealed that the official cause of death had been a “blood disorder,” which may have been HIV.