Tawfiq Tirawi, head of the Palestinian committee that is investigating the assassination of Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat, stated that Arafat’s grave will be opened this coming Tuesday in order to exhume his body for forensic analysis as part of the investigation into his death.Tirawi stated that the Palestinians and the Palestinian leadership have no doubt that Israel is behind Arafat’s death, especially when taking into consideration that Israeli military, security and political leaders openely called for his assassination when he was confined and surrounded at his headquarters in Ramallah.
The Palestinian official said that the grave will be opened under the supervision of a Palestinian medical team, forensic and legal experts, and added that the committee started, two years ago, the investigation into Arafat’s assassination, and that this investigation includes two main aspects; forensic and lab analysis, criminal and legal investigation.
He said that, after the Al-Jazaaera broadcast its detailed report on the assassination of Arafat, the Palestinian Authority sent a letter to a Swiss lab asking it to conduct a thorough investigation and analysis into Araft’s death.
As for ethical and religious issues, Tirawi said that the media will not be allowed to attend the exhumation out of respect to the memory of the Palestinian leader, and his family, and due to religious and social considerations.
At-Teerawi said that official ceremonies will be held before the exhumation, and after all tests are concluded, Arafat will be buried again in a full military ceremony.
France To Investigate Arafat’s Death
Wednesday August 29, 2012 03:18 – By Saed Bannoura – IMEMC & Agencies
The French Prosecution decided to open an official investigation into the death of the late Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat, who died in 2004 after becoming sick while surrounded by the Israeli military in his Ramallah headquarters.
The French Press Agency reported Tuesday that the Prosecutors Office in Nanterre, west of Paris, decided to initiate an official investigation into the issue after Arafat’s widow, Suha, filed an appeal last month demanding an investigation into her husband’s death, in order to reveal whether Arafat was poisoned by Polonium. It is worth mentioning that Suha Arafat, born in Jerusalem, is a French Citizen.
The Qatar-based Al-Jazeera conducted a 9-month report that was broadcast two months ago, and revealed that traces of Polonium, a highly poisonous chemical element, were found on Arafat’s clothes and belongings that he used prior to his death.
Al-Jazeera said that a well-known and well-respected Swiss lab conducted the tests and came to the conclusion that Polonium was used in the murder of Arafat.
The lab conducted biological tests on different private belongings and clothes that Arafat used, including his toothbrush, and his hat, in addition to clothes that had blood or urine on them.
After uncovering Polonium, the lab decided that Arafat’s body must be exhumed in order to examine the soil the covers his body, and to examine his bones. Such an exhumation requires the approval of the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) in the West Bank.
Following the broadcast of the Al-Jazeera report, Suha Arafat said she would allow the exhumation of Arafat’s body, and the P.A also said it has no objection.
Swiss experts will be examining his remains in the West Bank, but will also take samples to their labs that have advanced equipment and technology.
Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat, died at a French Military Hospital on November 11, 2004. On July 31st this year, Soha Arafat filed a lawsuit against “unknown” in France for the assassination of her husband.
The Palestinians believe that Israel, that surrounded Arafat’s in his compound, in 2002, until he fell seriously ill and was airlifted to France, is behind the assassination of Arafat, especially since Israeli leaders kept labeling him as an “obstacle to peace”.
Israel also bombarded sections of the compound, and bulldozed other sections, in addition to cutting power and water supplies, and phone lines.
Israeli sharpshooters also topped several surrounding buildings overlooking the office of Arafat, and killed five Palestinians in the compound, including members personal bodyguards of Arafat; at least 40 were injured and 70 were kidnapped. Israel also said that two Israeli soldiers were killed in the attack.
The then-Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, said in a press conference that “invading Ramallah, and the isolation of Arafat is only the beginning of an extended military offensive that aims, according to Sharon, “at uprooting the infrastructure of terrorism”.
Sharon also described Arafat as the enemy of Israel and did not hide Israel’s interest in removing him from power. Several Israeli leaders also said that “Arafat is an obstacle to peace” and expressed explicit interest in getting rid of him despite a statement by the then-Defense Minister, Benjamin Eliezer, who claimed that Israel is not planning to harm Arafat.
While under siege, Arafat said; “they want me to become their prisoners, or wanted, or dead; and I tell them I am a martyr, a martyr a martyr”.