Aide: Palestinian leader wants more on Arafat

An aide says the Palestinian leader wants more information from a Swiss lab before deciding whether to dig up the remains of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat.

FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 2, 2004 file photo, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat pauses during an emergency cabinet session, at his compound, in the West Bank town of Ramallah. Yasser Arafat's body may be exhumed to allow for more testing of the causes of his death, the Palestinian president said Wednesday, July 4, 2012, after a Swiss lab said it found elevated levels of a radioactive isotope in belongings the Palestinian leader is said to have used in his final days.(AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen, File)

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — An aide says the Palestinian leader wants more information from a Swiss lab before deciding whether to dig up the remains of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat.

Doctors at the lab say they found elevated levels of the radioactive agent polonium-210 on clothing reportedly worn by Arafat before his death in November 2004.

The lab says the findings don't prove Arafat was poisoned. Experts are divided over whether an autopsy, sought by Arafat's widow, could clear up a lingering mystery surrounding the cause of Arafat's death.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said he's willing to exhume the body. However, Abbas aide Nimr Hamad said Thursday the Palestinian leader first wants to send experts to Europe to learn more from the Swiss lab and to the French military hospital where Arafat died.

Associated Press
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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