Nightly News | November 27, 2012
>>> also in the middle east today, they took an extraordinary step to investigate an old rumor, they dug up the body of yasser arafat to see if he had been poisoned, and they're conducting tissue samples all over the world now to find out. we get our report from our veteran middle eastern correspondent martin fletcher in ramallah .
>> reporter: a grim day in ramallah , yasser arafat was reburied after scientists took samples from his remains, seeking an answer to the mystery that began with his death eight years ago. was he murdered? palestinians may soon have an answer. labs in russia, france and switzerland will conduct separate tests of bone samples taken today. muslim clerics gave permission to open his grave. it was a delicate process kept out of sight.
>> it was important for the palestinians to emphasize that no hands touch the remains of yasser arafat . only the palestinians touched him. a matter of honor.
>> the last time arafat was seen in public he flew to a paris hospital age 75 and sick. three weeks later he was dead. why? his wife refused an autopsy. rumors flew, aids murdered, poisoned, that's what many palestinians believed.
>> all the circumstantial evidence , all the political evidence indicates one direction, which is mr. sharon.
>> reporter: there is no evidence he had been killed until this year. the investigation was triggered by swiss technicians working with al jazeera tv . they examined arafat's toothbrush and hat. and found traces of radioactive pe pelonium 210. the question now is, will they find it on his bones.
>> the idea of being able to detect pelonium 210 this long after burial is low.
>> reporter: the test could raise more questions than it answers. yasser arafat controversial in life, his death still a riddle. martin fletcher , nbc news, ramallah , the west bank .