The Palestinian leadership is to petition the International Criminal Court in The Hague if it finds proof that the late Yasser Arafat was poisoned, an official said on Tuesday.
"If it is proved that Arafat was poisoned, we will go to the international court," said Tawfiq Tirawi, head of the Palestinian commission investigating Arafat's death, referring to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
His remarks were made at a press conference which took place several hours after the veteran leader's remains were exhumed for testing by a team of international experts.
"We will wait for the results of the investigation," he said. "We are not accusing anyone so far but regardless of the result, we will continue looking for the truth" about how he died.
Arafat died at a French military hospital near Paris in November 2004, with experts unable to say what killed him, although many Palestinians believe he was poisoned by Israel.
Experts on Tuesday took samples from his remains to examine them for traces of polonium after an investigation earlier this year found abnormal quantities of the radioactive substance on his personal effects.
The results are not expected to be made public for several months.
The ICC can only open an investigation if it is asked to do so by the UN Security Council or by a recognised state.
Although the Palestinians do not have full UN membership, president Mahmud Abbas will on Thursday present a formal request for upgraded status, which would raise its rank from that of an observer entity to an observer state.
Such a move could allow them to join many UN organisations or international treaties, such as the ICC or the Fourth Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians.
The resolution is expected to easily pass in the 193-nation General Assembly after which the Palestinians would have to apply to become party to the Rome Statute, and only then could they be permitted to petition the ICC.
"This would be the first case for Palestine after getting international recognition as a (UN) non-member state," Tirawi said.