Amid media speculation, Palestinian sources say Arafat has large gallstone
Yasser Arafat has a large gallstone, a Palestinian hospital official said Tuesday, as the Palestinian president broke his Ramadan fast and underwent more medical tests at the urging of his doctors. The gallstone is not life threatening and can be easily treated, the official told The Associated Press.
Earlier, Palestinian Communications Minister Imad Falluji said Arafat's minor exploratory surgery revealed no serious illness.
Doctors carried out an endoscopy, a procedure in which a small scope is inserted in the body to evaluate the interior surfaces of an organ, a top Palestinian official said. President Arafat also underwent an ultrasound examination, according to reports.
Arafat was in a stable but weak condition after the surgery Monday in his headquarters in Ramallah, Palestinian officials said.The Palestinian leader had reportedly complained of stomach aches and had been vomiting.
On Monday, Israel gave permission to Arafat to leave his Ramallah headquarters so he could get a medical checkup - the first time in two years that Arafat was given permission to leave the compound.
Israel's Defense Minister Saul Mofaz made the decision following a request to allow Arafat to have a medical examination in a local hospital.
However, Palestinian minister Jamil al-Tarifi denied Monday that Arafat needed to leave his offices for medical treatment, saying Arafat's health had improved. His comments came before the exploratory surgery was made public.
Al-Tarifi acknowledged he recently told Israeli officials that Arafat might need to go to a hospital in Ramallah but said no request had been made.
"Now the president's health is better and he doesn't need to leave (his compound)," Tarifi said.
A delegation of doctors from Tunisia went Sunday to to carry out examinations on the Palestinian President.
The Israeli media have speculated in recent days that Arafat may be suffering from more than the flu, with some reports saying Arafat is ill with cancer. "We are used to hearing rumors from the Israelis about the president's health," Nabil Abu Rdeneh, an Arafat aide, said. (Albawaba.com)
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