Israel approves Palestinian request to move Arafat to hospital
Ailing Palestinian president, Yasser Arafat's aides said he sent a message to his people that his condition was "good" and there was no reason to be worried, press reports said.
Arafat is expected to be transferred from his Ramallah headquarters to a hospital in the city in the early afternoon. Israel's Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz approved the Palestinian request to move Arafat.
Meanwhile, Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon spoke with his Palestinian peer Ahmed Qurei on Thursday and agreed in principle to permit Arafat to be flown abroad for medical treatment, an Israeli official told The Associated Press.
The official said Qurei did not ask Sharon whether Arafat would be allowed to return. However, Israeli security officials said Thursday that Arafat would be given permission to come back to the West Bank, in an apparent change of policy. (albawaba.com)