Russian experts arrive for Arafat exhumation

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 26, 2012 07:50 hrs

Tel Aviv, Nov 26 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian specialists have arrived in the West Bank to take part in the exhumation of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to establish the reasons for his death eight years ago.

A new probe by French authorities was prompted earlier this year following the detection of radioactive polonium−210 on Arafat's personal effects provided by his wife.

The Palestinian authorities said Arafat's body will be exhumed Tuesday.

Three Russian experts invited by the Palestinian National Administration (PNA) are part of an international team, which also includes specialists from France and Switzerland.

They will be tasked with finding new facts that could reveal the true reasons behind Arafat's death.

The specialists will take samples from Arafat's remains and bring them to their respective countries to be tested for polonium−210 or other lethal substances. The tests could take months, the Palestinian investigators said.

The Palestinian leader's body will be reburied the same day with military honours.

Arafat, who led the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) for 35 years, died in Paris in November 2004 after suddenly falling ill. His death has been attributed, alternatively, to either illness or poisoning.

Palestinians have repeatedly claimed he could have been poisoned by Israelis, while Tel Aviv has vehemently denied any involvement in his death.

−−IANS/RIA Novosti


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