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Sick Arafat; Stable Condition, More Doctors on Way

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Sick Arafat in Stable Condition, More Doctors on Way



RAMALLAH, October 28 (IslamOnline(contact admin if its a beneficial link) & news Agencies) – Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's health is said to be in stable but serious condition, as more doctors from neighboring Egypt and Jordan were on their way Thursday, October 28.


“The situation is stable now, he is in stable condition, but he needs more rest and more medical care,� reported Ha’aretz, quoting Arafat's spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh.


Other officials said the Palestinian leader was able to join morning prayers at his compound in the West Bank town of Ramallah, where he has been confined by the israeli occupation forces for almost three years, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).


“You could see he was suffering but he managed to pray,� one official said.


Top medics were to carry out further bedside tests on Arafat while two teams of doctors were due to arrive from Jordan and Egypt after offers from King Abdullah II and President Hosni Mubarak.


According to the BBC News Online, Arafat's long-time personal doctor, Jordanian neurologist Ashraf Kurdi, said he had been summoned urgently.


“I am taking a team to assess his condition and do whatever is possible that can be done. They refused to tell me what his condition was.�


Reports he had lost consciousness for a short while were quickly refuted by Abu Rudeineh.


Arafat's wife, Suha, was to arrive Thursday from Tunis.


Mrs Arafat, who lives in Paris, has not visited Ramallah since the start of Al-Aqsa Intifada against the israeli occupation in September 2000.


Mahmud Abbas, former prime minister and deputy head of PLO, and incumbent premier Ahmed Qorei were also at Arafat's bedside.


Health problems



For over a week, there have been reports that President Arafat, 75, was suffering stomach pains, but tests reportedly found no signs of major illness.


He is said to have been suffering from a bout of flu as well as a gallstone, which is thought to be easily treatable.


Arafat's health has been the subject of speculation after a team of Tunisian medics was sent to the West Bank to carry out tests at the weekend, when Palestinian officials insisted he had nothing more than a severe bout of influenza.


However, cabinet secretary Hassan Abu Libdeh confirmed that Arafat's condition had taken a turn for the worse.


“He has been going through a very slow recovery over the last few days, including the last six hours, and now he is in critical condition,� Abu Libdeh told CNN late Wednesday.


israel said it would allow Arafat to go “wherever he wants for treatment.�


But the authorities, although wary of being blamed in the event of his death, have declined to confirm whether they would allow him back to the Palestinian territories.


“That question has not been looked into,� one israeli official said.


Possible Successor


His declining health has raised international concerns over who would replace Arafat, the embodiment of Palestinian aspirations of independence for decades.


According to the terms of the Palestinian basic law, parliament speaker Rawhi Fattuh would be appointed as head of the Palestinian Authority for a maximum 60-day interim period in the event of Arafat's death.


However in reality, the real reigns of power are likely to pass immediately to Abbas and Qorei.


Reports said Arafat has formed a tripartite leadership committee -- comprising Abbas, Qorei and the president of the Palestinian National Council Salim Al-Zaanoun (the PLO's parliament in exile) -- to ensure a smooth transition of power.


The reports were, however, denied by a senior Arafat aide.


Hundreds of Palestinians and media people gathered outside Arafat's compound.


Arafat is the most popular Palestinian leader and the symbol of the Palestinian national struggle.

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