13 November 2012, 12:34

Palestinians begin work to open Arafat grave

Palestinians begin work to open Arafat grave

The Palestinians on Tuesday began work to open the grave of the late Yasser Arafat ahead of an exhumation of his body for a murder probe, a source close to his family told AFP.

"Today they started removing concrete and stones from Arafat's mausoleum and the work will last for almost 15 days," the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. 

Arafat's tomb closed off ahead of exhumation 

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's tomb in the West Bank city of Ramallah was screened from public view on Monday in preparation for forensic examination of his body, according to Tawfiq Tirawi, head of the Palestinian investigative committee on Arafat's death.

Arafat died in a French military hospital near Paris on November 11, 2004.

French prosecutors opened a murder inquiry in August after Al-Jazeera television broadcast an investigation in which Swiss experts said they had found high levels of radioactive polonium on Arafat's personal effects.

The Palestinians are ready to allow Swiss, French and Russian experts to perform the exhumation scheduled for later this month. 

Russia helping on Arafat exhumation - Abbas 

The Palestinians are coordinating with Russia, as well as Swiss and French experts, on the exhumation of late president Yasser Arafat, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Sunday.

"We are currently in coordination with the French investigators, the Swiss experts, and also the Russian government to open the tomb," Abbas said in a speech marking the eighth anniversary of Arafat's death.

Voice of Russia, AFP

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