No plans to switch off Arafat life support equipment
Under US pressure, Israel on Wednesday agreed to allow Yasser Arafat to be buried in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Israel's Army Radio reported, following a meeting of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's security cabinet.
The radio added that burying Arafat at his headquarters in Ramallah would be "acceptable", even though Israel preferred the Palestinian leader would be buried in the Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile, Egyptian sources said Wednesday that Cairo would host the funeral for Arafat. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak offered to hold the service for Arafat at the Arab League in Cairo, ahead of burial in Ramallah. Another option is to hold the funeral at Cairo airport.
In Paris, Palestinian cleric Tayssir el-Tamimi said Arafat's life support equipment would not be switched off "as long as there is warmth and life in his body."
"There is no question of switching off the equipment. It is against Islamic law which bans this type of practice. As long as there is warmth and life in his body, we cannot switch off the equipment," he said at the Percy military hospital.
Earlier, the Palestinian envoy to France, Leila Shahid, also dismissed speculations that "euthanasia" was being contemplated. "Clearly a man of religion should be near a patient in the final phase of his life. That is why (Tamimi) is there, not to disconnect him -- because euthanasia is banned in Islam," she said.
Shahid said Arafat was still “in a deep coma”, but added there was a ”complication in the state of all of his vital organs.” She added he was therefore “in a critical state".
“The reality is that he is in the hands of God.”
Shahid conveyed doctors at the Percy Military Hospital were fighting to keep him alive. They ”are doing everything, in the intensive care unit, to try to give him his chances”, she said. (albawaba.com)