Arafat's gravesite to be closed to visitors before exhumation

Arafat's gravesite to be closed to visitors before exhumation

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Palestinian Authority will close former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's gravesite in Ramallah to visitors ahead of his body's exhumation, The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday, Oct 16, citing London-based Al Quds Al Arabi newspaper.

A Swiss laboratory and French investigators are to help investigate the unexplained 2004 death of the leader.

Arafat, who led the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) for 35 years and became the first president of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 1996, fell violently ill in October 2004 at his besieged West Bank compound. Two weeks later he was flown to a French military hospital in Paris, where he died on November 11, 2004 at the age of 75.

In 2005, the New York Times obtained a copy of Arafat's medical records, which it said showed he died of a massive haemorrhagic stroke that resulted from a bleeding disorder caused by an unknown infection.

Independent experts who reviewed the records told the paper that it was highly unlikely that he had died of Aids or had been poisoned.

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