Arab League to form panel to probe Arafat’s death

July 18th, 2012 - 1:00 am ICT by IANS  

Cairo, July 17 (IANS) The Arab League (AL) Tuesday decided to set up an independent committee to probe the death of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Arafat died at a military hospital near Paris Nov 11, 2004, three weeks after he was airlifted from his West Bank headquarters, where he spent two years under an Israeli siege.

The committee will work with the Palestinian side and Arab and international bodies to find out the details behind Arafat’s death, reported Xinhua, citing a statement issued after a meeting of the pan-Arab body’s permanent delegates.

The AL urged Palestinian investigators to provide all information available and other countries, especially France, to support the committee’s work.

The committee’s report will be completed within weeks and will then be referred to the next ministerial meeting of the AL. It will be part of the AL’s efforts to ask the UN to form a committee to probe Arafat’s death, according to AL chief Nabil al-Arabi.

Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat’s successor, has ordered an investigation after Al-Jazeera recently aired an investigative report concluding that Arafat was poisoned by radioactive polonium. The Palestinian leadership said it was ready to exhume Arafat’s remains for the investigation.

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