Ramallah: The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has agreed to exhume late president Yasser Arafat's body for examination at the request of some of his family members, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

The decision was taken a day after the Al-Jazeera reported that Arafat, the late Nobel laureate, might have died of a radioactive isotope called polonium. The report said that traces of the polonium were found on Arafat's belongings, as reported. "There is no religious or political reason preventing the inquest and the exhumation," said Nabil Abu Rdineh, spokesman for the Palestinian presidency.

He added that President Mahmoud Abbas ordered the committee that investigates Arafat's death to study the new information and evidences that Al-Jazeera revealed.

Arafat's widow called for checking the remains of her husband after the report was aired Tuesday evening.

In 2004, Israel had allowed Arafat to leave his West Bank compound after two years of siege for medical treatment in a French hospital. But he died in France and was later buried in the West Bank city of Ramallah without an autopsy.

Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, called for an international investigation into Arafat's death, saying the query was of national Palestinian interest.


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