Connect to share and comment

Yasser Arafat's body being exhumed for French murder investigation

Yasser Arafat’s tomb in Ramallah, West Bank, has been sealed off as work begins to exhume his body later this month.

arafat graffitiEnlarge
A Palestinian youth stands along a side walk with a mural behind him depicting the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (R) and the late Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in Gaza City on November 11, 2012, as Palestinians commemorate the eighth anniversary of Arafat's death. (MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)

Yasser Arafat’s tomb in Ramallah, West Bank, has been sealed off as work begins to exhume his body later this month.

A French team is investigating the death of the 75-year-old former Palestinian President in 2004 following allegations that he may have been poisoned by Israeli agents, CNN reported.

Arafat fell ill suddenly in November 2004. He was flown to France for treatment where he died of, according to his medical records, a stroke due to a blood disorder.

However, Swiss scientists have told a TV documentary that they had found traces of the rare radioactive poison Polonium on his personal items.

His wife, Suha — who objected to a post moretom at the time of his death — had filed a formal legal complaint asking the French authorities to look into the murder claims, JTA reported.

The Israeli government has denied any involvement in his death.

She later appealed to the Palestinian Authority to permit the exhumation "to reveal the truth," according to Radio New Zealand.

CNN reported that the exhumation, which started with the removal of Arafat's mausoleum's glass and marble tombstone, could take up to two weeks.

More from GlobalPost: Yasser Arafat's body to be exhumed, re-examined

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/israel-and-palestine/121113/yasser-arafat-israeli-spies-assassination-mossad-poison-polonium