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Palestinian territories - France

French judges present as Arafat's remains exhumed

Reuters/Mohamad Torokman

The remains of Yasser Arafat were dug up on Tuesday morning to determine whether he was murdered by radioactive poisoning. French judges, who are investigating a case lodged by Arafat’s widow, Suha, were present.


The exhumation of the late Palestinian leader was carried out at 5.00 am local time in the Ramallah presidential compound where he was buried and samples were taken for examination.

Dossier: Gaza 2009

French, Swiss and Russian experts were present.

The mufti of Jerusalem was also there, telling the AFP news agency, “I owed it to myself to be here at the opening of the tomb.”

Arafat’s remains were replaced in the mausoleum after the samples had been taken.

The inquiry was launched after revelations on Al Jazeera television that led to tests that showed traces of polonium on Arafat’s personal effects.

“The great majority of Palestinians have always believed that Yasser Arafat was poisoned by Israel, which the Jewish state denies,” reports RFI’s reporter in Jerusalem, Nicolas Falez.


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