Slain PLO chief Yasser Arafat's body to be exhumed to determine cause of death

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 01, 2012 10:51 hrs

Nearly eight years after his death, the body of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat will be exhumed from a tomb to determine the cause of his death.

Three French judges, expected to arrive in Ramallah in the next few weeks, will investigate allegations that the former Palestinian president did not die a natural death, but was poisoned by Israeli agents.

Rumours that the 75-year-old leader had AIDS, or cirrhosis of the liverwere swiftly discounted, but suggestions that he was poisoned to death by polonium have proved more durable.

According to The Guardian, now, scientists are attempting to prove or quash such theory.

The exhumation of Arafat's body will be a delicate and emotive task because of the deep affection and respect he continues to hold among Palestinians.

The corpse will be removed from the tomb and transferred to a hospital in Ramallah for samples to be taken and tested for the presence of toxins.

Tawfik Tirawi, the head of the Palestinian committee investigating the death, said there will be no cameras to record the event.

"Due to the particular situation, there will probably be no media coverage. It's very difficult to allow journalists to be around because of all the difficulties of the operation," he said.

The Palestinian leadership has stated its willingness to co-operate with the murder inquiry, which was launched last month at the request of Arafat's widow, Suha, a French citizen, the report said. (ANI)

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