Sources: ''Arafat close to natural death''

Published October 20th, 2003 - 02:00 GMT

Yasser Arafat is very ill and Ariel Sharon prefers an early natural death of the Palestinian president instead of deporting or assassinating him, a Lebanese newspaper reported on Monday. 


Al Mustaqbal daily quoted unnamed Western and Arab sources as saying Arafat was suffering from acute stomach ulcer that needs an urgent surgery, but Israel's prime minister was denying permission to get the Palestinian leader to hospital. 


Arafat's personal physician had applied for a permit to hospitalize Arafat for emergency laboratory tests and surgery, but Sharon insisted on keeping the Palestinian Authority leader confined to his Ramallah compound, the newspaper said. 


"Sharon's backtrack from Arafat's expulsion was not the outcome of U.S. pressure or Arab mediation. It was prompted by his conviction that Arafat is close to a natural death and there is no need to making him a martyr," Al Mustaqbal concluded. (

© 2003 Al Bawaba (

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