Arafat's body to be exhumed on Tuesday

The remains of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat will be exhumed on Tuesday as part of a renewed investigation into his death, a Palestinian investigator said Saturday.

Arafat died in November 2004 in a French military hospital, a month after suddenly falling ill.

Palestinian officials claim he was poisoned by Israel, but have not presented evidence. Israel has denied such allegations.

Earlier this year, the detection of a lethal radioactive substance in biological traces on Arafat's clothing sparked a new investigation.

Tests were inconclusive, and experts said they need to check his remains to learn more.
On Tuesday, Swiss, French and Russian experts will take samples from Arafat's bones, said Tawfik Tirawi, who heads the Palestinian team investigating the death.

They will examine the samples in their home countries. Arafat will be reburied the same day with military honors, but the ceremony will be closed to the public, Tirawi told a news conference. He did not specify when results would be announced but said the probe could take months.

Earlier this month, workers began prying open the concrete-encased tomb in Arafat's former government headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

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