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Arafat Health Concerns Grow as Doctors Are Summoned to His West Bank Headquarters - 2004-10-28


Yasser Arafat is reported in serious-but-stable condition after collapsing and briefly losing consciousness. Doctors from abroad have been summoned to treat the Palestinian leader.

The 75-year-old Palestinian leader fell ill while eating. One aide says Mr. Arafat had briefly lost consciousness, but added that his condition had stabilized and that he had been able to perform morning prayers and had chatted with close associates.

Arafat spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeineh described his condition.

He said, "He is conscious. He is well, but he is in need of some rest. His situation, as I said, is stable and we are in need of some days to recover back."

Mr. Arafat has been holed up in his sandbagged Ramallah compound for more than two years -- at times surrounded by Israeli troops and unable to leave.

Israeli government spokesman Raanan Gissin says Israel has agreed to allow foreign doctors to come to provide treatment.

He said, "Later on, if theres a request and a need to transfer him to any medical installation or any medical facility abroad, that, too, has been approved by the prime minister."

Yasser Arafat shares a Nobel Peace Price with Israeli leaders Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Perez.

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