Saturday, October 23, 2004
Reports Conflict on Arafat's Health
sources told FOX News the Palestinian Liberation Organization leader's condition has seriously deteriorated [B'Ezrat HaShem] since Friday, when Israeli TV first reported he had the flu. Palestinian [sic] sources said that if the doctors determine Arafat needs surgery he will be flown to an overseas hospital.
However, Sharon has long stated that should Arafat ever leave the West Bank [sic] compound, he will not be allowed to return. The PLO has placed part of the blame for its leader's deteriorating health on his confinement by the Israelis.
Viewed by Washington as a major obstacle to peace in the Mideast, Arafat's health has been the subject of much speculation since the bloody uprising began in 2000. He appears to tremble during public appearances, but his representatives have routinely denied he suffers from a nervous disorder like Parkinson's disease.
Arafat was treated by a team of Jordanian and Egyptian doctors earlier this month for complaints including fever, severe diarrhea and vomiting, the Jerusalam Post reported. He had been ill for some time, and aides were said to be worried about his condition.
Arafat apparently still has not recovered from that illness. Haaretz reported that he was so ill on Friday that he was unable to complete the first day of prayers for the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. Aides told FOX News Arafat was fasting during the holy [sic] month, against doctors' wishes.