Abbas aide: Palestinian leader signs off on exhuming Arafat's remains | iNFOnews

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Abbas aide: Palestinian leader signs off on exhuming Arafat's remains

FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 29, 2004 file photo, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and his wife Suha hold hands prior to Arafat's departure from his compound in the West Bank town of Ramallah in this file picture released by the Palestinian Authority. asser Arafat's body may be exhumed to allow for more testing of the causes of his death, the Palestinian president said Wednesday, July 4, 2012, after a Swiss lab said it found elevated levels of a radioactive isotope in belongings the Palestinian leader is said to have used in his final days.(AP Photo/Palestinian Authority, Hussein Hussein, File) EDITORIAL USE ONLY
July 09, 2012 - 5:45 AM

A top aide says Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has given his permission to exhume the remains of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat.

The decision came days after a Swiss institute found elevated traces of a radioactive agent reportedly on Arafat's belongings, reviving speculation the legendary Palestinian leader was poisoned.

The institute said it needs to test Arafat's remains for conclusive findings, and Abbas has said he is willing to allow an autopsy in principle.

Abbas aide Saeb Erekat said Monday that Abbas has now given final approval, and is inviting the Swiss experts to test the remains. Erekat says "we are on the way to an autopsy."

Earlier Monday, Arafat's nephew said he does not believe further testing is needed. It was not clear whether the nephew would block an autopsy.

News from © The Associated Press, 2012
The Associated Press

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