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Arafat visit to go ahead, Palestinian officials say« Thread

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Arafat visit to go ahead, Palestinian officials say« Thread

Postby admin » Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:15 am

Arafat visit to go ahead, Palestinian officials say« Thread Started on Nov 8, 2004, 10:52am » --------------------------------------------------------------------------------Arafat visit to go ahead, Palestinian officials sayMonday, November 8, 2004 Posted: 6:54 AM EST (1154 GMT) Arafat's wife Suha said the Palestinian delegation wanted "to bury" Arafat "alive." RAMALLAH, West Bank (CNN) -- A delegation of Palestinian leaders again plan to leave Ramallah Monday to visit their ailing leader, Yasser Arafat, at a French hospital, Palestinian officials said.Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei and Mahmoud Abbas -- a former prime minister who is now the acting head of the Palestine Liberation Organization -- Foreign Minister Nabil Sha'ath and Speaker of the Parliament Rawhi Fattuh are now set to make the journey to Paris.Abbas and Qorei had been scheduled to leave Sunday evening but postponed their trip after an emotional statement from Arafat's wife to the Arabic-language network Al-Jazeera.In a statement delivered by over the telephone to Al-Jazeera, Suha Arafat told Palestinians that her husband's would-be "inheritors" were coming."I want the Palestinian people to be aware of the scope of this conspiracy. They want to bury him alive," she said.Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi told CNN that Mrs. Arafat's remarks were "very, very unfortunate" and "very provocative, almost slanderous."(Yasser Arafat) is not just a husband or a father," Ashrawi said. "He is father of a nation. ... He is not just Suha's husband, and he should not be reduced to just Suha's husband."Under French law, Mrs. Arafat, as next of kin, controls her husband's treatment and access to him. But the Palestinian leaders, after a 4 a.m. ET meeting in Ramallah, decided it was imperative for them to go to Paris."It's very important that they do go because we do have institutions, we do have a political hierarchy, and they have to see him," Ashrawi told CNN. "The public has a right to know."With them going there, they have to come back and say: 'We saw him, and this is how he was, and this is what the doctors told us,'" she said.She said Palestinian officials have been in contact with French officials."I think they will be able to see him because he is head of state," she said.Arafat, 75, has been in a coma for more than three days at a military hospital outside Paris.On Sunday, Sha'ath told CNN Arafat has been in a "reversible" coma for three days at the hospital, where he was taken October 29 for treatment of a blood platelet deficiency."We do not know what is the reason for this coma and when will he come out of it," Sha'ath said.He said Arafat's vital organs are "fine," and he has no damage to his brain, liver, or other vital organs. "There is no regression, there is no deterioration in any of his vital organs, but he remains in a coma."Sha'ath said he did not speak directly to the doctors, but spoke with Palestinian officials who did.Access to Arafat is extremely limited, and the hospital itself has said very little throughout the week. And other Palestinian advisers have given sharply contradictory statements since last week.On Friday, Leila Shahid, the PLO representative in Paris, said Arafat's coma was initially induced by doctors. Then Saturday, sources close to Palestinian leaders said Arafat was being kept in a coma to prevent him from moving and damaging inflamed vital organs.Saturday night, Arafat's media adviser Nabil Abu Rudainah said Arafat was "not in a coma," adding that he was "in stable condition" and sleeping in the intensive care unit.But Sunday, a source close to senior Palestinian officials said Arafat had been in a coma since Wednesday, and that it was not medically induced.Officials fear major violence in the event of Arafat's death. Palestinian security chiefs agreed to a plan to increase patrols in the West Bank and provide more security for Palestinian institutions and officials while Arafat is hospitalized.The cause of his illness remained unclear.Correspondent Michael Holmes, Producer Waffa Munayyer and Radio reporter Ninette Sosa contributed to this report
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