Ummid Assistant

Applications open for Manmohan scholarship at Cambridge

IIM-Trichy to offer short courses too at Chennai centre

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » International

Investigators prepare to exhume Arafat’s body

Monday November 26, 2012 10:27:33 PM, IINA

Related Article

Russia to help exhume Arafat's remains

Russian experts will be part of an international group tasked with exhuming the body of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, alleged to have been poisoned by polonium, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas  »

Work to open Yasser Arafat’s tomb begins

'Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned'

Ramallah: Scientists and legal experts from Switzerland, France and Russia have begun to arrive in the West Bank in order to exhume the body of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Al Jazeera reported.

The team will open Arafat's grave tomorrow in order to test his body for radioactive polonium, according to Tawfiq al-Tirawi, the head of the Palestinian investigation committee.


A nine-month investigation by Al Jazeera found elevated levels of the substance in Arafat’s final personal effects. The findings, which were broadcast in July, suggest that there was also a high level of polonium in Arafat’s body when he died, raising fresh questions about what killed the longtime Palestinian leader.

The cause of Arafat’s death has long remained a mystery. Some reports speculated that he died from AIDS, cirrhosis of the liver, or other diseases, but medical experts who studied his final medical records told Al Jazeera that he was in good health until he suddenly fell ill in October of 2004.


Many Palestinians have long believed that Arafat was poisoned by Israel, a charge Tirawi repeated during a press conference here on Saturday.


“We have evidence which suggests [Arafat] was poisoned by Israelis,” he said.


“I consider this a painful necessity. It is necessary to find the truth in the death of President Yasser Arafat", he added.


The Israeli government has denied any involvement in his death, and refused to comment on Al Jazeera’s findings.

Arafat died in a French military hospital in 2004. He was buried in a concrete tomb at the muqataa, the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority.


The tomb will be unsealed on Tuesday, and investigators from each of the three countries will remove samples, which they will analyse independently, Tirawi said.


Scientists will also study a small amount of soil from Jerusalem that was buried inside the tomb.


Arafat’s body will be reinterred later the same day in a military ceremony.


Al Jazeera’s investigation studied the items Arafat had with him when he died: his comb, his toothbrush, even his iconic kaffiyeh, all of which were variously stained with his blood, sweat, saliva and urine. The items were provided by Arafat’s widow, Suha.

His belongings were analysed by the Institut de Radiophysique in Lausanne, Switzerland, which discovered high levels of polonium-210. Further tests found that most of the polonium was “unsupported,” which means that it did not come from natural sources.


It is a highly radioactive element used, among other things, to power spacecraft. Marie Curie discovered it in 1898, and her daughter Irene was among the first people it killed: She died of leukemia several years after an accidental polonium exposure in her laboratory.


At least two people connected with Israel’s nuclear programme also reportedly died after exposure to the element, according to the limited literature on the subject.

But polonium’s most famous victim was Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian spy-turned-dissident who died in London in 2006 after a lingering illness. A British inquiry found that he was poisoned with polonium slipped into his tea at a sushi restaurant.


Preparations began earlier this month, when the Palestinian Authority removed the marble stones covering Arafat’s grave. The site has been closed to the public since mid-November, and a blue tarp covers the area around the grave.


It will take months for the scientists to finish analysing the samples they collect. Polonium-210 has a half-life of 138 days, meaning that half of the substance decays roughly every four-and-a-half months.








Home | Top of the Page


Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS



More Headlines

After 19 years, Belgian finds out his wife was a man

SC notice on plea for green levy on new diesel cars in Delhi

SAP woos students to promote entrepreneurship

Panel to modify rule on poll expenditure, SC told

Row over letter to Modi: Shahabuddin apologises to Muslim NGO

Malala sixth on 'global thinkers' list

Kerala delegate steals IFFI director's laptop, arrested

Former Prime Minister IK Gujral on ventilator, very critical

World's biggest sculpture to come up in Abu Dhabi

Indian garment workers exploited, says tribunal

Karnataka BJP hit by another land grab scandal


Top Stories

Parliament disrupted over FDI, cap on subsidised gas cylinders

Proceedings in both houses of parliament were adjourned Monday as the opposition continued to protest for the third successive day the government's  »

Differences among UPA alliance partners over FDI persist

Should it be no work, no pay for MPs?


  Most Read

India set to get first Muslim as Inelegance Bureau Chief

Ibarhim's appointment as IB chief is coming at a time when accusations against the Indian investigating agencies and police officials are rife that they are arresting "innocent" Muslim youths in terror  »

Row over letter to Modi: Shahabuddin apologises to Muslim NGO

 Ex-MP and IFS (Retd.) Syed Shahabuddin on Monday tendered unconditional apology to Joint Committee of Muslim Organizations for Empowerment (JCMOE) - an umbrella body of  »


  News Pick

Karnataka BJP hit by another land grab scandal

In yet another instance of allegations of illegal land deals against Karnataka's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a legislator and a state minister now face charges of grabbing land in this  »

Majority of 'disappeared persons' in Kashmir innocent: Study

The term 'DPs' is used to describe those people who were picked up from their homes or other places in the presence of witnesses, family members or friends, on suspicion of being militants by security forces or by separatists on suspicions of being police informers and were  »

Indian garment workers exploited, says tribunal

Indian workers, a majority of them women, who sweat and toil to stitch designer garments for global brands in Europe and the US, are exploited and harassed by employers, an international tribunal said here Sunday. »

BJP suspends Ram Jethmalani

The BJP has suspended from party its leader Ram Jethmalani, who had earlier demanded party chief Nitin Gadkari's removal and also spoken against the party's line on the appointment of the new CBI chief, sources said Sunday. »


Picture of the Day

President Pranab Mukherjee at the National Education Day 2012 function to commemorate the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, in New Delhi on November 11, 2012.

(Photo: Sanjiv Misra)


Recommend the story to your friends



RSS  |  Contact us


| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant



Science & Technology



About us




Government Schemes










Contact us


The Funny Side

Education & Career

    Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

© 2012 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.