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|Adviser says Yasser Arafat is near death||
NOV 9: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is near death. ``It's only a matter of hours,'' Edward Abington, formerly the U.S. consul-general in Jerusalem, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Ramallah, where Arafat make his headquarters on the West Bank.
Abington said Arafat was in a deep coma and is near death. He said his information came from the Palestinian delegation in Paris. Only Ahmed Qureia, the prime minister, was permitted to see him by French doctors at the hospital because of his grave condition, Abington said.
Traveling in Mexico, Secretary of State Colin Powell said Arafat
was gravely ill and that it is a difficult time for the
On Monday, the French medical team treating Arafat publicly acknowledged that he was in a coma.
French doctors contradicted reports by senior Palestinian
officials that the veteran leader had died at a Paris hospital.
Arafat suffered a brain hemorrhage, top aide Tayeb Abdel Rahim said at the Palestinian leader's headquarters in Ramallah in the West Bank.
The 75-year-old leader started bleeding Monday evening and was in critical condition at the Percy Military Training Hospital in southwest Paris, Abdel Rahim told a news conference.
Several political sources said Arafat, 75, in a coma for the
past six days, had succumbed to the mystery illness that led to
his being flown to Paris from the West Bank on Oct. 29
But a spokesman for French medical services insisted Arafat was still alive, saying: "Mr. Arafat is not dead."
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia saw Arafat in a hospital outside Paris and planned to return to the West Bank for an overnight meeting.
His wife said: "I tell you they are trying to
bury Abu Ammar alive," Suha Arafat tells Al-Jazeera television,
referring to her 75-year-old husband by his nom de guerre.
But on Tuesday, as the officials arrived in Paris to check on Arafat, doctors said he had slipped deeper into a coma.
The delegation including Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie, Shaath and
Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary General Mahmoud Abbas
arrived at the hospital after France hinted it was losing patience
with the visit dispute....Developing