News / Middle East

Arafat's Body May be Exhumed for Tests

PLO security officer in front of a portrait of the late Palestinian leader at camp Ein el-Hilweh, Sidon, Lebanon, June 19, 2012.PLO security officer in front of a portrait of the late Palestinian leader at camp Ein el-Hilweh, Sidon, Lebanon, June 19, 2012.
x
PLO security officer in front of a portrait of the late Palestinian leader at camp Ein el-Hilweh, Sidon, Lebanon, June 19, 2012.
PLO security officer in front of a portrait of the late Palestinian leader at camp Ein el-Hilweh, Sidon, Lebanon, June 19, 2012.
VOA News
Traces of the radioactive poisonous element polonium have been found in the belongings of late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, according to the Swiss-based Institute of Radiophysics.

Institute spokesman Darcy Christen told Reuters news agency "surprisingly" high levels of polonium-210 were found in Arafat's belongings. But he stressed clinical symptoms described in Arafat's medical reports were not consistent with polonium-210 poisoning.

Institute director Francois Bochud told al-Jazeera television the only way to confirm whether the Palestinian leader, who died in 2004, was poisoned with polonium would be to exhume Arafat's body.

Arafat's widow, Suha, told al-Jazeera she would ask for his body, buried in the West Bank town of Ramallah, to be exhumed.

According to the Associated Press, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that Arafat's body may be exhumed to allow for more testing of the causes of his death.

Polonium-210

  • Highly radioactive
  • Toxic if it enters the body by eating, breathing or through a wound
  • Occurs naturally and is present in the environment in low concentrations
  • Releases a great deal of energy
  • Was discovered by Marie Sklodowska-Curie and Pierre Curie in 1898

Source: IAEA
Arafat, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who led the Palestine​ Liberation Organization for nearly four decades, died at age 75 in a Paris hospital following several weeks of treatment. Citing privacy laws, French officials refused to reveal the precise cause of death, fueling rumors and theories as to the cause of his illness.

Polonium was found to have caused the death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006, and he was assumed to have been deliberately poisoned.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Michael from: USA
July 05, 2012 8:39 AM
In the Israeli-Palestinian project both of war and side-by-side adaptation, what remains occluded is the common sense over an exhumed body to be examined with sophisticated tests, speaks of a way of life half-way orderly, as if adapted to large and sweeping corrupt attitudes and aberrant behavior
In Response

by: Robert from: UK
July 05, 2012 10:48 AM
the Irony here is that France had as much interest killing this disgusting smelly slime as anyone in the West... and, more to the point, France could have easily effectuated it too.... they had this cretin in a French Hospital known for its use of radioactive "treatments"

by: Hassan Banna from: Jordan
July 04, 2012 12:38 PM
what a stench that must be... treacherous pedophile!!!!
In Response

by: Holdersen from: UK
July 05, 2012 7:12 AM
for Arabs to nurse the memory of this venomous cretin is a disgrace in itself. Whoever was responsible for his demise (UK, Russia, Israel, US....) - I say - you have done Humanity a great service.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More