Yasser Arafat's body to be exhumed on Tuesday for poison tests
Ramallah: Palestinian officials on Saturday confirmed that the concrete-encased grave of Palestinian president Yasser Arafat will be dug up on Tuesday in his former compound in the West Bank, as per a BBC news report.
Arafat's remains are to be exhumed by French, Swiss and Russian investigators to check for a radioactive substance, polonium-210.
Body of the late president will undergo tests to find out whether his death in Paris in 2004 was caused by poisoning, the news report further said.
French doctors could never find out what killed Arafat. Also there was no post-mortem done which can reveal the cause of Arafat’s death.
The investigation came after a Swiss lab earlier this year discovered traces of the deadly isotope on some of Arafat's clothes, sparking new suspicions he was poisoned.
The Palestinian officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the work at the gravesite is shrouded in secrecy, amid cultural sensitivities over digging up the remains of a revered leader. Arafat died in November 2004, a month after suddenly becoming ill.
"The tomb will be opened on November 27 and experts will take samples the same day within a matter of a few hours," Tawfiq Tirawi, the head of the Palestinian inquiry team told reporters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
However, Tirawi did not explain the apparent delay while stressing the exhumation was painful but necessary to establish the truth of allegations that Israeli may have poisoned the iconic Palestinian leader.