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Arafat's Remains to be Exhumed Tuesday

  • VOA News

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, the founder of the Fatah movement, died in November 2004.

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, the founder of the Fatah movement, died in November 2004.

Palestinian officials say the remains of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat will be exhumed Tuesday so that scientists may take samples as part of an investigation into his death. Authorities say a reburial ceremony will be held later the same day.

French prosecutors opened a probe into the death of Mr. Arafat earlier this year, after a Swiss physics lab found traces of polonium, a radioactive substance, on his belongings. The lab said, however, Mr. Arafat's clinical symptoms at the time of his death were not consistent with polonium poisoning.

The Palestinian leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner died at age 75 at a military hospital near Paris in 2004. He had been taken there after falling ill at the compound in the West Bank town of Ramallah, where the Israeli army had kept him confined for more than two years. Doctors who treated him in Paris said they could not establish a cause of death.

Mr. Arafat's widow, Suha, has endorsed exhuming his body from its mausoleum at the Palestinian presidency headquarters in Ramallah for forensic testing.
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