On November 27, Yasser Arafat’s body was exhumed from its burial place in Ramallah. The reason was so experts from France, Switzerland and Russia could collect samples in order to prove whether or not radiation poison was the cause of the former Palestine Liberation Organization leader’s death.
Why now—eight years after his death in a French hospital? Access was granted to Arafat’s body last week after tests in January on some of the clothes he wore the day of his death revealed high levels of polonium 210, a radioactive isotope. In July, following the tests showing high polonium levels, Al-Jazeera reported the findings in a documentary about the iconic Arab leader. This resulted in an outcry from Palestinians for an international inquiry. Arafat’s widow, Suha Arafat, lodged a formal legal complaint for murder. French authorities soon launched a formal inquiry.