Palestinians leaders have put an end to conflicting rumours by announcing they will visit their ailing leader in a Paris hospital, where Yasser Arafat is said to be in a serious but stable condition. Prime Minister, Ahmed Qurei, Foreign Minister, Nabil Shaath and former Gaza security chief Mohammed Dahlan are expected in the French capital soon. It follows a scathing attack by Arafat’s wife broadcast on Arabic news channel Al Jazeera, in which she accused them of planning to “bury her husband alive”. Qurei has voiced regret over the comments.
Suha, who lives in Paris, had not seen her husband for three years. She is one of only three people at his bedside. Ordinary Palestinians claim Suha has gained too much power and say she has no right to control information on his condition. They say Arafat does not belong to her but to the Palestinian people. The 75-year old president was airlifted to Paris from his Ramallah compound ten days ago after losing consciousness. Conflicting rumours surround his condition – Israeli claims that he had died last week were immediately denied.