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RAMALLAH, July 12 (Xinhua) -- The death of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was the result of an unknown poison, a Jordanian doctor who started an inquiry in the incident said Thursday.
Arafat's medical reports were unable to diagnose the disease, but indications suggest that he was poisoned by a toxic substance that was not examined at the time, said the doctor, Abdullah al- Basheer, in a news conference upon his arrival to the West Bank.
Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat's successor, ordered the investigation after Arab satellite channel al-Jazeera aired an investigative report concluding that Arafat was poisoned with radioactive polonium.
To confirm al-Jazeera's report, Arafat's body needs to be exhumed for further tests. The Palestinian leadership said it is ready to dig up Arafat's remains for the investigation.
Al-Basheer said the findings of the Lausanne-based Institute of Radiation Physics, which al-Jazeera used for testing Arafat's personal belongings, were difficult to be conclusive due to the lack of previous examples of polonium poisoning.
Arafat died at a French hospital near Paris, three weeks after he was airlifted from his West Bank headquarters, where he spent his last two years under an Israeli siege.
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