The body of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was exhumed on Tuesday, eight years after his death, as part of an investigation into allegations he was poisoned, official Palestinian radio said.
A team of international experts from Switzerland, France and Russia was due to take samples from Arafat's body to see if they could detect any trace of poison. The corpse will be reburied later in the day with full military honors.
French magistrates opened a murder inquiry in August into Arafat's death
in Paris after Arafat’s wife, Suha, had requested an autopsy to search for traces of a poisonous substance. She told Al Jazeera in July that a Swiss laboratory had detected high levels of the radioactive isotope polonium in Arafat’s clothes, which have been in storage since his death in 2004. Palestinians have accused Israel of causing Arafat’s death, though no conclusive evidence has been presented publicly. Israel denies killing him.
Arafat, who founded the Palestine Liberation Organization, died in a French hospital at the age of 75. Doctors at the Percy military hospital in Clamart, France, said he suffered from a brain hemorrhage and fell into a coma before he died. He is buried below a glass tomb adjacent to the offices of his successor, Mahmoud Abbas.