Scientists hope Arafat’s remains will answer poisoning claims

Scientists hope Arafat’s remains will answer poisoning claims

Scientists hope Arafat’s remains will answer poisoning claims

Scientists exhume the body of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat today to find out whether he died of poisoning.

Although his medical records say he had a stroke, abnormally high traces of a radioactive substance have since been discovered on Arafat’s personal effects.

Investigating teams from France, Switzerland and Russia will conduct separate tests. Many Palestinians believe Arafat was murdered, particularly as no post-mortem was carried out at the time.

But not everyone agrees with the exhumation. Some in Arafat’s own family disagree with the process, seeing its as a desecration. Palestinians in the West Bank city of Ramallah are more pragmatic:
“I agree with the exhumation because Arafat did not die naturally and we want to know the cause,” said one market stall holder. “I oppose the decision of exhumation because I know Arafat was poisoned to death. We don’t have to examine the body, but to find the murderer,” said another.

Since Yasser Arafat’s death in November 2004 there have been numerous theories over the cause ranging from an Aids related illness to foul play. Israel has denied any involvement.

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