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In the last three years of his life, Arafat was confined by Israel to his Ramallah walled compound, the Muqata. The Palestinian leader was seen by Israel and the U.S. as an obstacle to peace efforts and a sponsor of attacks that killed hundreds of Israelis.

Israel has emphatically denied a role in Arafat’s death. Officials say that with Arafat locked in to his headquarters, there was no need to kill him, and argue that an assassination would only have destabilized what already was a difficult period of heavy fighting. Senior Palestinian officials have repeatedly accused Israel of killing Arafat, saying it had the means, motive and opportunity.

A renewed investigation could lead to uncomfortable questions for the Palestinian leadership. If an autopsy was to reveal that Arafat was indeed poisoned, the probe would also have to look at Palestinians who had access to him.

The Al-Jazeera TV’s investigation is also embarrassing to the Palestinian Authority, which launched its own probe after Arafat’s death and failed to discover any leads.

Associated Press writer Mohammed Daraghmeh in the West Bank contributed to this report.