Investigators Exhume Remains of Former Palestinian Leader

The remains of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat were exhumed Tuesday as part of an investigation into allegations that he was poisoned, NBC News reported. Samples from Arafat's bones were given to French, Swiss and Russian experts, who will examine them in their home countries to test for traces of poison, according to officials. The corpse will be reburied later in the day with full military honors. The investigation was opened in August when rumors of foul play began to swirl around the sudden demise of Arafat, who died in a Paris hospital eight years ago at the age of 75. A Swiss institute discovered high levels of radioactive polonium on Arafat's clothing, the same substance that killed ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. The findings prompted the French to open a formal murder inquiry. However, there has been some resistance to the exhumation. Exhuming Arafat's body may show that he was poisoned, but it won't reveal who poisoned him. Moreover, it could stir allegations of Israeli involvement, which would only heighten tensions between the Palestinians and Israelis, who are currently observing a cease-fire after a week of fighting in Gaza.

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