A short time ago TEK's Barbara McPherson reported on the exhumation of the body of Yasser Arafat. Today there are updated reports online.
Palestinians have long believed that the death of Arafat was highly suspect. When he died quickly his widow would not authroise a post-mortem. Now she is in agreement with the exhumation of his body and forensic tests to determine the cause of death.
Traces of the deadly radioactive polonium-210 were found on his personal effects leading to suspicions about how he died. The official cause of death at the time was "stroke resulting from a blood disorder". Aged 75 he was certainly no spring chicken but that does not mean his death could not be suspicious. Sudden death in the UK usually leads to a post mortem or autopsy even if the person is aged 90. So much will depend on whether or not the deceased had been receiving ongoing medical treatment and had a known illness. Foul play is after all not an exclusivity of youth. The rules will be the same in most countries.
The result of the current investigation will not be known for some time, perhaps even months. Samples have been taken under strict observation and regulations. It is important that the result is 100% honest. According to a BBC report,
Arafat's body lies in a stone-clad mausoleum inside the Muqataa presidential compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The mausoleum was sealed off earlier this month. Palestinian officials told Agence France Presse that only a Palestinian doctor had been allowed to directly touch the remains and remove the samples, but the process was conducted in front of the Swiss, Russian and French scientists, who will carry out tests for polonium-210 and possibly other lethal substances in their respective countries.
A full, resplendent re burial had been planned to follow the exhumation and examination. Apparently in the end only samples were taken meaning that Yasser Arafat's body remained in situ.
The results of the tests will prove once and for all whether Arafat died from foul play. Palestinians suspect that Israel was somehow behind his death. Israeli officials have always maintained that is not true.
Once the results are made public will both sides, that is Israel and Palestine, abide by whatever is discovered? You can after all discover the truth but no person may want to hear, see or read it.