Yasser Arafat's Grave Being Prepped For Exhumation

11:03 AM, Nov 13, 2012   |    comments
Courtesy: Getty Images
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West Bank workers have blocked off Yasser Arafat' grave ahead of the planned exhumation of the Palestinian leader's remains later this month.

The gravesite was surrounded with a blue tarpaulin and roads leading to the Arafat mausoleum were closed off on Tuesday.

Palestinian officials say the exhumation will take place in late November. They say the Palestinian Authority insists on privacy and doesn't want the process observed by media and others. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the exhumation.

Israeli and Palestinian officials told media in the region the exhumation would take no less than two weeks, as all work on the mausoleum - including removing tons of concrete poured on top of the grave - would be carried out manually.

Swiss, French and Russian experts are to exhume Arafat's body to try to clear up some of the mystery surrounding his November 2004 death in France.

A Swiss radiology lab recently discovered traces of a deadly radioactive isotope on clothes said to be Arafat's, reviving allegations that he was poisoned.

"The site just requires preparation, we are still far from any exhumation," said Darcy Christen, a spokes person for the Swiss lab, which is taking part in the exhumation and medical investigation.

CBS News

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