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Arafat's remains to be exhumed

11-26-2012 17:26 BJT Special Report:Arafat’s Remains Exhumed for Posion Tests |

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By CCTV correspondent Roee Ruttenberg

Palestinian officials are preparing to exhume the body of late Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, eight years after his death. An international team of investigators will carry out tests to determine if he was murdered.

Yasser Arafat brought global attention to the plight of his people - the Palestinians. A militia-man-turned statesman without a state he died in 2004 in a French hospital. He was 75 years old. He was flown there after his health began deteriorating quickly. French doctors didn’t say how he died and his widow, Suha - at the time - declined an autopsy.

But an investigation by the Qatar-based network Al Jazeera helped re-open the case after it concluded that Arafat’s final belongings, held by Suha after his death, contained elevated levels of a rare radioactive element - polonium, leading many to conclude as they have long suspected: the Palestinian leader had been poisoned.

In August, French officials launched an official murder investigation. But some say they already know who is behind his death.

Local resident Hatem Yassin said, "Israel must go to trial at the International Court for its crimes. Assassinations, according to UN conventions, are forbidden."

Israel denies any wrongdoing and has dismissed the accusations.

Even here, in Ramallah, some are questioning the Gulf network’s motives.

Local resident Ahmad said, "The interests of Al Jazeera are to serve the hidden agenda of big people who, unfortunately, want to see the Palestinians more miserable."

The exhumation has divided not just some Palestinians but also some in Arafat’s family, with his nephew leading a lost battle against the procedure.

The international teams that arrived are operating separately, each commissioned by Arafat’s widow, who says the process is quote "very painful" but necessary and many agree.

Local Abd Arazak Hamaad said, "I don’t know what will happen after they open the grave. But they need to do it, to clarify for the people the reasons that led to the President’s death."

The conclusion of this investigation will certainly not bring Arafat back to life, but it may breathe new life into his memory. He was a controversial figure abroad. But here he was a legacy for the people, for what he did, and for what they believe he hoped to achieve.


Editor:Zhou Minxi |Source:

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