- Yasser Arafat's wife was battling for a share of his
fortune as the Palestinian leader lay fighting for his life in hospital
- With assets estimated at between $A350 million and $7
billion, Arafat is thought to be one of the world's wealthiest heads of
- His wife, Suha, hopes to inherit at least part of his
fortune. But Palestinian leaders are demanding it be handed over to their
- Arafat's assets are managed in a network of bank
holding companies and stocks. The details are known only to his closest
confidant, financial adviser Mohammed Rashid.
- While Mrs Arafat has access to some of the money, she
does not know the inner workings of the accounts.
- She is reported to have asked Rashid to make a list of
her husband's assets.
- He is said to have refused, saying he would report only
to the Palestinian Authority.
- The Arab TV station al-Jazeera said Arafat had written
a will leaving at least some of his fortune to his wife and their daughter
Zahwa, 9. Other reports said Arafat has no will, leaving most of his
in the hands of Rashid.
- Mrs Arafat, 42, who has lived in Paris for four years,
whisked her 75-year-old husband to hospital last weekend.
- The Christian, Sorbonne university-educated Suha married
Arafat in 1993.
- She left the couple's Gaza home in January 2001 and took
their daughter to Paris, where they have lived ever since in a five-star
- Earlier this year, French officials investigated the
transfer of $15 million from Swiss bank accounts to accounts she controls
- With Arafat apparently on his death bed, Palestinians
asked what happened to the billions in aid they received from the
- They suspect Mrs Arafat's lifestyle - as well as the
cars, villas and expensive educations of other prominent Palestinian
- was paid for with cash stolen from donors and tax revenues.
- Last year, the International Monetary Fund said $1.2
billion had been "diverted" from the Palestinian budget up to
the year 2000.
- Swiss investment adviser Jean-Claude Robard says Arafat
opened his first secret bank account in 1965 with a $75,000 cheque from
the Emir of Kuwait. Since then he has set up accounts in Switzerland,
Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands.
- Jaweed al-Ghussein, the former chairman of the Palestine
National Fund, said banking experts had been unable to find "several
billion dollars" in secret accounts.
- Al-Ghussein, 74, who ran Palestine Liberation
finances for 12 years until 1996, said he gave Arafat a monthly cheque
of about $17 million.
- Arafat also owns several hotels and holiday resorts in
Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, and Austria.
- After the Oslo Peace Accords in 1994, tax and customs
fees collected by Israel on Palestinian salaries and goods were transferred
to a Tel Aviv bank account in Arafat's name. Between 1996 and 2000, Israel
paid him $750 million in tax on oil sales alone.