His friends wanted to pop in for a cold one.
Yasser Arafat’s body may be exhumed to allow for more testing of the causes of his death, the Palestinian president said Wednesday, 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.
Arafat’s widow, Suha, called for an autopsy in the wake of the lab’s findings, first reported by the Arab satellite TV station Al-Jazeera. In an interview with the station, she did not explain why she waited nearly eight years to have the belongings, including a toothbrush and a fur hat, tested. At the time of his death, she refused to agree to an autopsy.
The Palestinian leader died at a military hospital outside Paris in November 2004 of what French doctors called a massive brain hemorrhage — weeks after he fell violently ill at his West Bank compound.
Doctors, including independent experts who reviewed his medical records on behalf of The Associated Press, have been unable to pinpoint the underlying cause of the hemorrhage. Speculation has lingered in the Arab world that he was killed by Israel, which viewed him as an obstacle to a peace treaty. Israeli officials have vociferously denied any foul play.