Yasser Arafat's Grave Dug Up In West Bank

Former Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat's grave was dug up in Israel's West Bank Saturday.

This was part of a planned exhumation to examine his remains for exposure to a deadly radioactive isotope.

There are still many questions surrounding Arafat's 2004 death.

When a Swiss lab found traces of polonium-210 on clothes said to be his earlier this year, Arafat’s widow Suha and his daughter Zawra lodged a murder complaint on July 31 in the Paris suburb of Nanterre. 

"The French and Swiss teams are acting separately on behalf of Arafat’s widow Suha Arafat and the Palestinian Authority, who each had misgivings about the other’s investigation," the Associated Press reported last week. "The late leader’s wife and the Palestinian Authority have a history of rocky relations, and Palestinian officials have complained that they felt Suha Arafat was forcing an investigation on them."

Many Arabs have believed since his death that Arafat was killed by Israel, an allegation the Jewish state has denied.

There is no guarantee the exhumation will prove anything, though, for polonium-210 decomposes quite rapidly. There may also not be enough remaining samples for sufficient testing.

The exhumation was originally planned for November 26. There was no explanation as to why it had been moved up.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.