Arafat's death to be announced
10/11/2004 08:10 - (SA)
Ramallah - The death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is to be officially announced on Wednesday at his Muqataa headquarters in Ramallah, a Palestinian official said.
"The death of President Arafat should be announced on Wednesday after meetings of the central committee of Fatah and the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) to be held at the Muqataa," said the official who asked to remain anonymous.
Arafat's Fatah movement is the main component of the PLO.
The announcement of the ailing 75-year-old leader's death had been expected after the return here early on Wednesday of four top Palestinians from a visit to Percy military hospital at Clamart near Paris where Arafat was admitted 13 days ago.
Foreign minister Nabil Shaath said before leaving Paris that Arafat was gravely ill but still alive and there was no question of switching off life-support equipment.
Following conflicting rumours, Shaath told journalists Arafat's condition had worsened and he was in a deep coma, but that his heart, brain and lungs were functioning.
Shaath was accompanied on a 24-hour visit to Paris by three other top Palestinians - prime minister Ahmed Qorei, parliamentary speaker Rawhi Fattuh and PLO number two Mahmud Abbas.