Relatives of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat have expressed their objections to the decision that his body is to be exhumed on Tuesday to determine whether he was poisoned.
His sister, Khadija Arafat, said the exhumation of Mr Arafat's remains is disrespectful and a violation of Arab tradition.
The investigation is aimed at verifying whether his death at a French hospital near Paris in 2004 was due to poisoning.
Last week, excavation started in Mr Arafat's tomb in preparation for the exhumation of his remains.
A French court opened a murder inquiry in August into Mr Arafat's death in Paris after a Swiss institute said it had discovered high levels of radioactive polonium on his clothing, which was supplied by his widow, Suha.
Tawfiq al-Tirawi, in charge of the Palestinian committee overseeing the investigation, told reporters in Ramallah on Saturday "it is a painful necessity" to exhume the body of Mr Arafat, who came to symbolise the Palestinian quest for statehood throughout decades of war and peace with Israel.
Mr Tirawi said the Palestinians had "evidence which suggests Mr Arafat was assassinated by Israelis". Israel denies any involvement.
Allegations of foul play have long surrounded Mr Arafat's demise. He died in a Paris hospital in November 2004, a month after being flown, seriously ill, from his headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah.
French doctors who treated him in his final days said they could not establish the cause of death, and no post mortem was performed in deference to his widow's request at the time, when Mr Arafat died at 75.
Eight years is considered a limit to detect any traces of the deadly radioactive substance, according to the Swiss Institute of Radiation Physics.
Mr Tirawi said Mr Arafat's body would be exhumed from its limestone mausoleum in Ramallah, away from the public or media presence, and separate samples will be taken by the French and Swiss forensic teams, as well as a Russian team of experts, who the Palestinians invited to help with the examination.