France Opens Murder Inquiry Into Arafat's Death

French prosecutors have launched a murder inquiry into the 2004 death of Yasser Arafat, NBC News reported. The late Palestinian leader’s family has alleged that he might have been poisoned. According to BBC News, Swiss scientists hired by an Al-Jazeera TV documentary crew discovered traces of radioactive element polonium on some of Arafat’s clothing provided by his widow, Suha Arafat. According to the medical records, Arafat died at a military hospital near Paris of a stroke resulting from a blood disorder. But many Palestinians continue to claim that the late leader was poisoned by Israel because he was a hindrance to peace, the BBC said, adding that some also believe that Arafat had AIDS. Chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority Saeb Erekat said he welcomed the inquiry but added that the Arab League would also urge the U.N. to launch an international investigation into the death of Arafat. The Palestinian Authority plans to exhume Arafat's body from a limestone mausoleum in Ramallah for an autopsy.

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