Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will appeal to Swiss experts who conducted tests on the belongings of Yasser Arafat, to take sampling of his remains, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Sunday.
"President Abbas has ordered one of his medical advisers to immediately contact the experts from the Swiss Institute who examined the clothes of Yasser Arafat to ask them to come immediately to take samples from Arafat's remains," Erekat said.
This decision followed an Al-Jazeera broadcast that showed the results of a nine-month investigation it commissioned on Arafat's 2004 death that found the Palestinian leader could have been poisoned with the radioactive substance polonium.
The analysis, which was performed by the Institute for Radiation Physics in Lausanne, found "an abnormal amount of polonium" in Arafat's personal belongings, which were returned to his widow by the Percy French military hospital, where the Palestinian leader died Nov. 11, 2004.
Polonium is a radioactive substance that is highly toxic, which was used in 2006 poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian spy who became an opponent of President Vladimir Putin.
Institute researchers claimed that in order to decisively determine Arafat's cause of death, samples need to be collected from his remains, which are buried in Ramallah.
Suha Arafat, who had refused an autopsy after the death of her husband though the causes of death were unclear, announced last Wednesday that she would "send an official letter to the Swiss laboratory that conducted the tests in order to allow the collection of samples from Arafat's remains."
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