10/29/2004

Ailing Arafat flies to France for treatment

The Palestinian president Yasser Arafat is travelling to a hospital in France today to seek treatment for an illness related to a "low blood platelet count".

Mr Arafat, who has been ensconced at his Ramallah compound for more than two years, has suffered from poor health for some time now. But on Wednesday his condition deteriorated and a team of doctors from Jordan and Tunisia were brought in.

Despite Palestinian officials playing down the seriousness of his illness, it became clear that the ailing 75-year-old should be moved to hospital. He was flown by helicopter to Jordan yesterday before boarding a flight bound for Paris. Mr Arafat is expected to arrive in the French capital at midday local time.

The Israelis had offered "all necessary assistance" for Arafat, saying that "humanitarian values and morality" stand over political concerns.

Mr Arafat's wife, Suha, joined her husband yesterday, having flown in from France where she has been living in exile for the past four years.

(gmcg/sp)

Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

11 November 2004
Arafat passes away in French hospital
The Palestinian President Yasser Arafat has died at a French military hospital in the early hours of this morning. The 75-year-old Palestinian leader is understood to have died from a brain haemorrhage after slipping into a coma on November 3.
27 July 2004
Reid gives 'green light' for £4bn PFI hospital deal
The 'green light' has been given for 15 new NHS hospital developments in a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deal worth more than £4 billion, it has been announced today. Today's announcement will bring investment in new NHS hospitals to more than £16 billion since 1997, the health department said.
12 November 2004
Arafat's coffin arrives in Ramallah
The body of the Yasser Arafat has arrived in Ramallah – the compound where he spent two years blockaded in by the Israeli army. The Palestinian leader, whom Tony Blair described as having "symbolised the Palestinian national movement", is expected to be buried in a stone coffin inside his ruined compound before sunset.
22 November 2004
No poisons found in Arafat's body, says nephew
Eleven days after Yasser Arafat's death, a Palestinian official has said that the 75-year-old's body contained no trace of poison, but declined to categorically rule out that he had been poisoned.
28 October 2004
Doctors examine 'seriously ill' Arafat
The Palestinian president Yasser Arafat, who has been ensconced at his Ramallah compound for more than two years now, is very seriously ill, according to reports. Mr Arafat has been ill for the past week but his condition has deteriorated over the past 24 hours.