The Associated Press reports: An aide says the Palestinian leader wants more information from a Swiss lab before deciding whether to dig up the remains of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat.
Doctors at the lab say they found elevated levels of the radioactive agent polonium-210 on clothing reportedly worn by Arafat before his death in November 2004.
The lab says the findings don’t prove Arafat was poisoned. Experts are divided over whether an autopsy, sought by Arafat’s widow, could clear up a lingering mystery surrounding the cause of Arafat’s death.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said he’s willing to exhume the body. However, Abbas aide Nimr Hamad said Thursday the Palestinian leader first wants to send experts to Europe to learn more from the Swiss lab and to the French military hospital where Arafat died.
Reuters reports: Tunisia has called for Arab ministers to meet to discuss the death of former Palestinian President Yasser Arafat after new suspicions that he was murdered, a senior official in the Arab League said on Thursday.
The Palestinian Authority agreed on Wednesday to exhume Arafat’s body after new allegations that he was poisoned with the radioactive element polonium-210 in 2004, the same substance found to have killed a former Russian spy in London in 2006.
“The general secretariat received a request today from the Tunisian representative to convene a ministerial meeting to study the circumstances of the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat,” League Deputy Secretary-General Ahmed Ben Helli told a news conference.
Ben Helli said a request had been passed to Arab member states for a meeting and to determine how they wished to deal with the issue in coordination with the Palestinians.
BBC News reports: Hamas Deputy Foreign Minister Ghazi Hamad has called for a full independent scientific investigation into the death of the former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat following claims he had been poisoned.
Hamad told HARDtalk’s Zeinab Badawi that he believed Israel was responsible. Israel has denied any involvement in Arafat’s death. His medical records say he had a stroke resulting from a blood disorder.