Arafat Exhumed For Poison Investigation

Arafat Exhumed For Poison Investigation

The body of former Palestinian Authority President Yasir Arafat was exhumed Tuesday to test whether he died of radioactive poisoning.

Samples were taken by a Palestinian doctor under the supervision of Swiss, Russian and French experts. The body then was reburied, according to reports.

Analysis of the samples reportedly will take several months. Many Palestinians continue to believe that Arafat was poisoned by Israel because he was an obstacle to peace. Israel has denied any involvement.

French prosecutors in August opened a murder inquiry into the death of Arafat.

Arafat’s wife, Suha, had filed legal action in July asking French authorities to look into claims that he was poisoned. Traces of radioactive polonium were found on Arafat’s belongings. Polonium is a highly toxic substance that is rarely found outside military and scientific circles.

Arafat led the Palestine Liberation Organization for 35 years and became the first president of the Palestinian Authority in 1996. He fell violently ill in October 2004 and died two weeks later, at 75, in a Paris military hospital.

The medical report published after Arafat’s death listed the immediate cause as a massive brain hemorrhage. Doctors ruled out foul play.

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