Palestinian official say Yasser Arafat will be reburied with full military honours after his exhumation next week (AFP)
Palestinian officials plan to exhume the body of Yasser Arafat on Tuesday to identify the cause of his death.
Palestinian officials said Saturday they would exhume the body of their leader Yasser Arafat next week to see if Israel poisoned him with a Russian-produced radioactive isotope.
The controversial announcement came as a group of international experts arrived in the West Bank city of Ramallah to take samples of the remains of the iconic leader’s bones and clothing for further study in European labs.
“The tomb will be opened on (Tuesday) and experts will take samples the same day within a matter of a few hours,” Tawfiq Tirawi told reporters in Ramallah.
He said a reburial ceremony would be held with full military honours later the same day in Arafat’s mausoleum at the heart of his Muqataa headquarters. Family members had earlier indicated the exhumation would probably go ahead on Monday.
Tirawi did not explain the apparent delay while stressing the procedure was painful but necessary to establish the truth of allegations that Israel may have poisoned the iconic Palestinian leader.
“November 27 will be one of the most painful days of my life for personal reasons as well as patriotic, political and religious ones,” the Palestinian inquiry chief said.
“But it is necessary in order to get to the painful truth behind Yasser Arafat’s death.”
They may not like what they find.
In 2007 Dr. Ashraf Al-Qurdi, Yasser Arafat’s personal doctor, confirmed that Arafat had AIDS.