World Bulletin / News Desk
Swiss experts have been invited to the West Bank to test Yasser Arafat's remains for possible poisoning, the chief investigator looking into the 2004 death of the Palestinian leader said Wednesday.
Last month, Switzerland's Institute of Radiation Physics said it had detected elevated levels of radioactive polonium-210 on stains on Arafat's clothing, reviving longstanding thinkings in the Arab world that the Palestinian leader was poisoned.
However, the lab said the findings were inconclusive and that only exhuming Arafat's remains could bring possible clarity. Lab officials also said polonium decays quickly and that an autopsy would need to be done within a few months at most. They also said they needed a formal invitation to proceed with testing.
The Arab satellite TV station Al-Jazeera first published the findings of the Swiss lab. The station approached the lab on behalf of Arafat's widow, Suha, who had demanded that her husband's remains be examined and provided the lab with his clothing.
Arafat died in a French military hospital on Nov. 11, 2004, a month after falling sudden ill at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, where he spent the last three years of his life under Israeli siege.
"We are currently studying how to adequately respond to this demand," Darcy Christen, a spokesman for the Swiss institute, said Wednesday. "Meanwhile, our main concern is to guarantee the independence, the credibility and the transparency of any possible involvement on our side," she said.
Several senior Palestinian officials, including Arafat nephew Nasser al-Kidwa, have claimed Arafat was poisoned by Israel. Israel denied any involvement.
Palestinian officials have said they want an international probe that has the authority to summon Israeli officials.
The Palestinian Authority also asked the Arab League to help pursue an international investigation. The League has said it would seek a U.N. investigation and would decide on the details in September.
Country is last in western Balkans to be recommended for travel liberalization
PM Cameron's government says unaccompanied child asylum-seekers 'will be resettled from Greece, Italy and France'
Huseyin Ozgurgun says his government supports reunification talks with Greek Cypriots
'It's going to take more to win. We're gonna win but we all need to do more,' Pentagon chief says
Saudi, Qatar, UAE and Turkey foreign ministers are due to travel to France to discuss situation in Syria
European Commission proposes to lift the visa requirements for Turkish citizens on condition that Ankara fulfils criteria set by the EU
'The defense ministry is taking a range of measures with the aim of countering the build-up of NATO forces in close proximity to Russia's borders,' defense minister says
On Tuesday night NATO has announced that it will allow Israel to open a permanent office at its headquarters in Brussels
Kenyan authorities have uncovered a terror cell Linked to ISIL that is suspected of plotting a “biological attack” on the East African nation and recruiting university students to Libya and Syria.
An Albanian court has sentenced nine defendants to jail sentences of up to 18 years on Tuesday for recruiting people to fight in Syria's civil war.
Agreement 'is continuing to fray, particularly in some areas in and around Aleppo', White House cautions
ISIL had briefly overtaken Tel Skuf in 2014, but town later fell back into hands of peshmerga forces
New data says Sub-Saharan region feeling effects of drought, commodity price shocks
ISIL militants killed a U.S. Navy SEAL in northern Iraq on Tuesday after blasting through Kurdish defenses and overrunning a town in the biggest offensive in the area for months, officials said.
'I hope that by the end of May, when we meet at the G7 summit, the implementation of Greece's programme is positively assessed,' EU president says
Republican front-runner Trump is expected to clinch party’s nomination in California primary in June