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Haniyeh backs PA on Arafat inquiry, UN bid

Nov. 27, 2012 7:05 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 12, 2013 11:27 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) – The Hamas-run government in Gaza on Tuesday expressed support to the efforts to reveal the those involved in the murder of late president Yasser Arafat.

Premier Ismail Haniyeh told reporters in Gaza City that "the case of Yasser Araft is a distinguished national case because he was an iconic revolutionary and leader of the Palestinian people."

Haniyeh accused the Israel of being behind the murder of Arafat.

Earlier in Ramallah, forensic experts took samples from Arafat's uncovered corpse, trying to determine if he was murdered by Israeli agents using the hard-to-trace radioactive poison Polonium.

Tawfiq Tirawi, who heads the committee investigating Arafat's death, told reporters that samples taken by Russian, Swiss and French experts would leave Ramallah on Tuesday.

He added that the Palestinian general prosecution supervised all the legal and medical procedures which took place over the past few days.

French magistrates in August opened a murder inquiry into Arafat's death in Paris in 2004 after a Swiss institute said it had discovered high levels of polonium on clothing of his which was supplied by his widow, Suha, for a television documentary.

In his remarks Tuesday, Haniyeh also said his government supported the PA's UN bid.

Haniyeh said “nobody is against statehood, and (my government) supports any political movement to establish a Palestinian state on the occupied Palestinian territory.”

“Our vision is to have a state based on inalienable Palestinian principles, and a state on the pre-1967 borders does not mean ceding the rest of Palestinian land.”

Earlier a senior PLO official said the bid had been submitted as a final draft resolution to the UN General Assembly.

Hanan Ashrawi told Ma'an the final resolution was submitted Monday to the UN in New York, requesting an upgrade of Palestine's UN status to an "observer state."

The UN General Assembly is expected to pass the resolution on Thursday.

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