Palestinian official: Arafat in '\'critical condition'\'
Palestinian president Yasser Arafat's health condition deteriorated late Wednesday, according to a Palestinian official. Hassan Abu Libdeh, the Palestinian Cabinet secretary, told CNN by telephone from Ramallah that Arafat was in "critical condition" but was conscious. Other officials described his condition as serious.
A team of Palestinian doctors was sent to his Ramallah compound in the West Bank, reports said.
Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei and former Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas were summoned to Arafat's bedside and met alone with him in his room, one official said.
Israeli officials said Arafat's wife, Suha, who lives in Paris, will arrive in Ramallah on Thursday.
Arafat had an exploratory operation earlier this week after suffering from stomach pains.
Israel gave permission for Arafat, 75, to leave his compound to receive medical treatment, but he refused.
Earlier on Wednesday, Arafat's doctors have ruled out cancer after receiving the results of a blood test. The diagnosis came a day after a hospital official said Arafat was suffering from a large gallstone.
Throughout the day, Arafat continued to rest, and broke his Ramadan fast for a second straight day, aides said, according to The AP.
A member of the medical team said a blood test showed no signs of cancer. The doctor said no further tests were expected. Israeli officials have speculated he was suffering from stomach cancer. (albawaba.com)
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