View Full Version : Yasser Arafat 'very, very sick'

tlr online
28-10-04, 01:10
A team of doctors has arrived at Yasser Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah where the ailing Palestinian leader's health has significantly deteriorated. One cabinet minister, who asked not be identified, told Reuters that Mr Arafat, 75, was "very, very sick". A crowd gathered, as a series of top Palestinian officials arrived. His wife Suha should arrive later on Thursday.

Israel says Mr Arafat can go anywhere for treatment, but it is unclear if he would be allowed back to the compound. A top official told Reuters that if he leaves the West Bank, the question of whether he could return was "a separate issue after he recuperates". Israel's policy has been that Mr Arafat is free to leave the compound where he is surrounded by Israeli troops, but may not be allowed to return.

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28-10-04, 02:00
Maybe the Palestinians will get a leader who actually speaks for them now.

28-10-04, 05:06
A stuningly intelligent woman who can easily make connections between Arab and western culture, I would love to see Dr. Hanan Ashrawi become the new Palestinian leader.

28-10-04, 12:34
Mmmm, i saw this on the news a second ago, he seems a nice man, but i know nothing about the midde east, only the very basics, i have not had time to read about it, but it is quite interesting, but also very sad.

Have to say i wish him all the best.

28-10-04, 12:40
Originally posted by SpArKy:
Mmmm, i saw this on the news a second ago, he seems a nice man, but i know nothing about the midde east, only the very basics, i have not had time to read about it, but it is quite interesting, but also very sad.

Have to say i wish him all the best.I don't think he is a nice man.

28-10-04, 14:27
thats sad, he still a person and i wish him well, even tho he hasnt been that good of a person....

28-10-04, 17:02
Arafat to Be Taken to Paris for Treatment

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By LARA SUKHTIAN, Associated Press Writer

RAMALLAH, West Bank - Doctors decided to fly ailing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to Paris for treatment, as associates described a Palestinian leader who was too weak to stand Thursday, appeared confused and spent most of the day sleeping.

Fifteen doctors including Palestinians and specialists rushed in from Jordan, Tunisia and Egypt examined the 75-year-old Arafat on Thursday and decided he would be able to get the best treatment in Paris, one of the doctors said on condition of anonymity.

If Arafat were taken to the hospital, it would highlight the severity of the health crisis and mark the first time for him to leave his battered Ramallah headquarters since he was confined there by Israel in 2002.

Israeli officials assured the Palestinians on Thursday that if Arafat recovered, he would be able to return to the West Bank, a prominent Israel-Arab lawmaker said. In the past, Israel was unwilling to make such promises.

The doctors, who had considered flying Arafat by helicopter to a hospital in Amman, Jordan, were by Arafat's side Thursday in a small clinic at his compound after he collapsed and briefly lost consciousness Wednesday night.

Palestinian officials initially tried to play down the health problems, saying he performed Muslim prayers before dawn Thursday and ate a light breakfast of cornflakes and milk.

On Thursday evening, Arafat's aides released two photos showing him sitting in a chair, broadly smiling as he posed with his doctors. He wore blue pajamas and a dark stocking cap a rare view of Arafat without his trademark black-and-white checkered headscarf.

But a close Arafat associate said the Palestinian leader spent most of the day sleeping. When he awoke, he was moved into a wheelchair because he was very weak and could not stand up, the associate said. At times, Arafat appeared confused, not recognizing some of his visitors, he added.

Arafat has been unable to hold down food, and also suffers from diarrhea, the associate said on condition of anonymity.

Israeli defense officials met Thursday to discuss the possible fallout if Arafat dies. Anxious Palestinians throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip waited for any s**** of information about his condition, with many fearing his death would plunge their nation into a profound crisis.

"I was awake all the night," said Imad Samara, a 38-year-old teacher from Gaza City. "I pray to God to save him because we need him, he is the safety valve for everything here, he is the father of all the Palestinians."

Arafat's wife, Suha, arrived at the Ramallah headquarters Thursday after she was called from Tunis to be with her husband. Suha Arafat lives in Paris with their young daughter, and has not seen her husband since 2001.

On Wednesday evening, Arafat's persistent two-week illness had taken a sudden turn for the worse. Arafat vomited after eating soup, then collapsed and was unconscious for about 10 minutes, a bodyguard said.

Palestinian officials initially insisted that Arafat was suffering only from a severe flu, while doctors said he also suffered from a large gallstone. Israeli officials have speculated Arafat is suffering from cancer in the digestive tract, but the Palestinians said tests found no sign of cancer.

Arafat has been confined to the sandbagged, partially demolished compound since May 2002. He has been kept inside both by occasional Israeli military blockades and by threats that he would not be allowed to return if he leaves.

Israel, fearing it will be blamed for any further deterioration in Arafat's condition, said Thursday it is ready to lift its travel ban and allow Arafat to leave.

Arab-Israeli lawmaker Ahmed Tibi, an Arafat confidant, said the promise had come from Dov Weisglass, a senior aide of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

However, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was skeptical. "If Arafat wants to come to Egypt, it would be difficult to get Israeli guarantees to let him go back," Mubarak told reporters in Cairo.

Sharon, in a telephone conversation with his Palestinian counterpart Ahmed Qureia, agreed to allow Arafat to be flown abroad for treatment if necessary, though they did not discuss the question of his returning, a Sharon aide said.

Arafat's health crisis has highlighted how unprepared the Palestinians are for their leader's death, making a chaotic transition period all but inevitable. Arafat has refused to groom a successor, fearing an impatient protege could turn on him.

Two Palestinian leadership groups, the Central Committee of the ruling Fatah movement and the PLO Executive Committee, planned to meet at Arafat's headquarters later Thursday.

One Palestinian official said Arafat has created a special committee consisting of Qureia, former Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, and Salim Zaanoun, head of the Palestinian National Council, to run the PLO and the Palestinian Authority while he is ill.

But when asked if Arafat had set up such a committee, Arafat spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeneh said: "Nothing like that."

White House spokesman Scott McClellan, traveling in Michigan with President Bush, said U.S. officials were monitoring the situation.

Sharon met Thursday with his defense minister, Shaul Mofaz. Israel has prepared contingency plans if Arafat dies, including how to deal with possible riots and prevent Palestinian attempts to bury Arafat in Jerusalem.

Israel has marked a possible burial site for Arafat in the Jerusalem suburb of Abu Dis, in the West Bank, security officials said. The Haaretz daily said Israel has taken the location of the plot into consideration in planning the route of its West Bank separation barrier.

Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said a Palestinian Authority without Arafat could become a partner for peace. "We always said we would be willing to talk to a Palestinian leadership that would be willing once and for all to bring an end to the bloodshed," Shalom told Israel Radio.