Poisoning reports linked to Yasser Arafat’s death have gone viral. Palestinian Authority has agreed to have Yasser Arafat’s body exhumed over the poisoning reports. The remains will be exhumed within the next few days.
A documentary by Al Jazeera television in Qatar has given authorities in Palestine reasons to worry Yasser Arafat was poisoned by radioactive polonium. Suha Arafat, the leader’s widow has provided a Swiss research institute with clothing to be tested for traces of poison. In an interview with Al Jazeera earlier this week the widow has called for Yasser Arafat’s exhumation.
The Swiss institute that tested Arafat’s clothing said it found “surprisingly” high levels of a substance called polonium-210. But the analysis of the clothing differs from the medical report of the former Palestinian president. For that Suha Arafat told Al Jazeera she wants “the world to know the truth about the assassination of Yasser Arafat”.
On Wednesday the Palestinian Authority has ruled in favor of the leader’s exhumation. Nabil Abu Rdeineh, Abbas spokesman, said: “The Authority, as it always has been, is ready to completely cooperate with and clear the way for an investigation into the true causes leading to the martyrdom of the late president”.
Saek Erekat with the Palestine Liberation Organisation said in a statement for Reuters: “If you ask me, it’s a matter of a days, not more than a few days. Then we will be in contact with the Swiss team or any other team that could come and exhume the body”.
Yasser Arafat died in 2004, but eight years later his death remains a subject of controversy. His exhumation is sure to stir a fuss given that Palestinians strongly believe the Israel was involved in their leader’s death. The reopening of the case and a reanalysis could add to the troubles and scrutiny Israel has been having in the region and cause a negative impact for the United States also is the Israeli state will somehow be linked to Yasser Arafat’s death.
For years now the suspicion of foul play involved in Arafat’s death have spurred controversy and lead to intense fighting in the Palestinian state. Reuters points that it is quite a big coincidence that Arafat’s exhumation and poisoning reports occur at a time when the former leader’s Fataf movement is struck by internal tensions once again.