Arafat?s Health

It appears that Arafat?s physical health may be in danger, but despite Israel?s threat to ?remove? him from power by arrest, assassination or expulsion, his political health is quite good. Arafat?s health has apparently been diminishing in lieu of his pending removal.

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Gary Fitleberg

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It appears that Arafat?s physical health may be in danger, but despite Israel?s threat to ?remove? him from power by arrest, assassination or expulsion, his political health is quite good. Arafat?s health has apparently been diminishing in lieu of his pending removal.

A team of Jordanian and Egyptian doctors arrived in Ramallah at the summons of a sick man; mentally and physically. They arrived to treat Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat for a mysterious virus amid reports that his health was rapidly deteriorating. PA officials denied a report in a British newspaper the same Wednesday claiming that Arafat recently suffered a mild heart attack.

Arafat continued to complain of acute pain in the abdomen, accompanied by high temperature, severe diarrhea, and vomiting, according to the Jerusalem Post. Arafat has been ill for more than a week, and some of his aides are expressing serious concerns about his condition. Aides stated, on the condition of anonymity, that Arafat continued to pick at his food and was unable to keep down food for three days. He required lots of rest.

The team of Jordanian and Egyptian doctors diagnosed Arafat?s condition as a flu and not a heart attack. This was confirmed by Arafat?s advisors, who stated Arafat had been weakened by a stomach flu virus. Dr. Yousef Goussous, one of four Jordanian doctors attending to Arafat, stated for the record, ?He didn?t have a heart attack? he had a stomach flu.?

Originally, Arafat?s aides stated he had experienced a ?slight heart attack?, as quoted in the British newspaper The Guardian, but they later recanted their report. The incident was kept secret so as not to cause panic amongst the ?Palestinian? people. Arafat?s aides were also alluding that he may have been poisoned, quite possibly by an operative, intentionally.

In brief public appearances, Arafat was drawn and pale. His lower lip trembled. He spoke with great effort and with prompting from his chief advisor Nabil Abu Rudaineh. At times, he appeared completely in a daze. Some suspect that the lower trembling lip is a sign of Parkinson?s disease. (Others note that the lips quivering are a sign of something else: How do you know when Arafat is lying? When his lips are moving. But that?s another story.)

A senior PA official told the Post that, despite his illness, Arafat received a Turkish delegation in his office on Wednesday. "I can't say that there is a real improvement in his condition," the official said. "Unfortunately, he continues to be very ill."

One must recognize that Arafat is not getting any younger. He is 74 years of age and sick. Despite his political health amongst ?Palestinians?, his physical health will take its toll ultimately. Arafat will not live forever. Israel need not need arrest, assassinate, or expel him; nature will take its usual course. Arafat will ultimately die.

Although he will escape being held accountable for all his actions of murder and mayhem, of corruption and dictatorship, he will not escape his inevitable fate of death.

Whether or not Arafat dies of natural causes, the Arabs will blame Israel. Even if 25 Arab doctors certify the death of Arafat they will blame and claim Israel was responsible. But even Arafat will answer to a higher authority eventually. It is only a matter of time.



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