Arafat Will Be Exhumed, Autopsied

'We are on the way,' says aide
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 9, 2012 11:54 AM CDT

(Newser) – Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has given his permission for the exhumation of the remains of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, a top aide said days after a Swiss institute reported finding elevated traces of a radioactive substance on the late leader's belongings. The findings were inconclusive, but revived speculation that Arafat was poisoned. "We are on the way to an autopsy," the aide says.

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The Swiss institute has said it would need to examine Arafat's remains for conclusive findings, though a clear-cut outcome is not assured because of the decay of the substance, polonium-210, over the years. Arafat's widow, Suha, as well as the top Muslim cleric in the Palestinian territories have backed exhuming the remains. "Arafat's nephew, Nasser al-Kidwa, has been cool to the idea of an autopsy but signaled he will not stand in the way. "All indications say he was poisoned," al-Kidwa said. (Read more Yasser Arafat stories.)

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