Arafat exhumed Tuesday to quell poison queries

PREPARATIONS. A Palestinian worker erects plastic tarpaulin around the mausoleum of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on November 24, 2012. AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI

Was Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat poisoned or not? One of the greatest political mysteries in the Middle East could come closer to being solved when his remains are exhumed on Tuesday, November 27. Many Palestinians believe their first democratically elected president was poisoned by Israel, a theory reinforced when Al-Jazeera reported in July Swiss finding, which showed high quantities of polonium on his personal effects. Polonium is a radioactive substance that dissipates faster than other radioactive substances. It was also what killed Russian ex-spy and Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. “It is very painful. It is a shock, and it is not easy for myself or my daughter,” Suha, Arafat’s widow was quoted by AFP as saying. “But we must do it to turn the page on the great secrecy surrounding his death. If there was a crime, it must be solved.” Israel has dismissed the probe as misguided. Arafat died in 2004 at the age of 75.

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