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Official: Arafat forensic inquiry to report in June

Feb. 11, 2013 9:52 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 12, 2013 3:10 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Results of the forensic tests on samples taken from the body of late Palestinian president Yasser Arafat will be announced in June, according to the leader of a Palestinian committee investigating Arafat's death.

Tawfiq Tirawi told Ma’an Saturday evening that nothing has been revealed so far, but that his committee is in touch with the officials who supervise the tests.

Arafat led the bid for a Palestinian state through years of war and peacemaking, then died in a French hospital aged 75 after a short, mysterious illness in 2004.

No autopsy was carried out at the time, at the request of his wife Suha, and French doctors who treated him said they were unable to determine the cause of death.

But allegations of foul play surfaced immediately, and many Palestinians pointed the finger at Israel, which confined Arafat to his headquarters in Ramallah for the final two and a half years of his life after a Palestinian uprising erupted.

His body was exhumed in November and samples taken by Russian, Swiss and French experts for investigation.

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