Sky are quoting Israel radio: Arafat to be allowed to go to Hospital, after reports that his health has Worsened.
He’s being flown by helicopter out of Palestine tomorrow and will be treated in Paris. Apparently the Israelis have promised to let him back in. The conspiracy theories as to what is wrong with him have started acc to the news on French TV tonight.
I’d love to hear Abby’s views on what’s happening. The BBC guy seemed predominantly going for the ‘will it cause violence in gaza?’ question to everyone that came on to talk.. sigh. It’s hard for us here to see and think through the haze. What’s really happening & what do people think? ta.
I do enjoy Emma’s coverage Good work there.
Hi Kev, There is surprisingly very little talk of Yassar Arafat here since he was flown to Paris. It is assumed that he has leukaemia and it is end-stage which means he may not survive for many more months. Some people are comparing his situation with the late King Hussein of Jordan who went to the US for treatment and then flew home to die.
Although I work with a number of Palestinians, we haven’t seen many of them for the past week or two. This is the month of Ramadan (we’ve just begun week 3) and in the Middle East, the Muslims only have to work a maximum 6 hours a day. In reality, they work for about 2 or 3. It’s the rest of us that do the actual work and keep the place afloat!! So, I haven’t had a chance to ask my Arab colleagues for their opinion. However, we are having a meeting on Monday and I hope to get a chance afterwards to chat with them.
All the Palestinians here have Jordanian nationality and are staunch supporters of Yasser Arafat. They hate the Israelis, as all other ME countries do too. I have to travel through the ME a bit, and I would not get entry in any of these countries if I visited Israel and had it stamped in my passport. I would be black listed in Saudi Arabia for visiting Israel. So, you can see how strong the feelings are in this part of the world.
If I can get some info, I’ll post again in a few days.
Breaking News: Officals are saying that Arafat is in a coma and in a critical condition. (10.11am)
Now dead! A reporter has just asked President Bush about how he feels in his press conference. He said “God rest his soul”.
Now not dead, thats what the hospital’s saying.
It’s turning into an “is he or isn’t he” with Palestinians and military doctors saying different things. French TV has documentaries on Arafat tonight. That usually means only one thing.
Just my 2p’s worth but I reckon he’s on life support, so technically he’s alive but only because of machines and if they pulled the plug, well I’m sure you can work it out, not long to go now I guess
He appears to be on life support while the various political agendas get thrashed out between France, US, Israel, Palestinian authority etc as to his burial arrangements, possible successors, repercussions etc.
I agree. It appears the man is very near kicking the bucket, to put it in simple terms.
The fact that their preparing his grave, kind of puts things in perspective.
They plan, as far as I’m aware, to a fstate funeral in Cairo or somewhere safe. I hope you don’t mind me expanding on that, but do you people feal that your or our leaders should attend his funeral?
I wouldn’t think Geroge Bush is going to show up to pay his respects, is Tony Blair or Jack Straw?
Jack Straw. Funeral in Cairo to allow the Arab states to send someone…Ramallah under Israeli control
It was nice to see – on the web, thank you Kev! – Stuart Ramsay reporting again, from Ramallah. Did Emma H rush back from her time off to make sure she wasn’t deposed ?
No, it’s good that they have enough reporters there for such a big story.
Emma Hurd has been reporting LIVE in Rammallah for quite a while I believe. She was there this morning anyway.
Also it appears Sky News have answered my question, Jack Straw will attend the funeral on behalf of the UK. Tony Blair is on his way to the US.
Out of curiosity, eagle, you seem interested in the lives of combat or investigative journalists in places like Baghdad. I advise you to get the film/documentary- “Live from Baghdad” about the CNN crew who reported LIVE during the first GulfWar. It’s quite extraordinary to see how they work.
Bit of an anti-climax, I like how Martin Stanford put it at the media conference I went to yesterday, “We need to learn the french for dead”.
“Mort” for Arafat who was male!
CNN’s doccie – was that with Nic Robertson as I admire his work, or was that before his time?
It will be interesting to see who turns up at Arafat’s funeral. The message to the Palestinians if only ministers turn up from the UK and US is that ‘they don’t care; they are totally in Israel’s pocket’. Is that the right message to be giving out at this time of change in the Palestinian authority I wonder? Whatever you think of Arafat, you can’t underestimate what he meant to Palestinians, especially those who have nothing, and no right of return.
“It will be interesting to see who turns up at Arafat’s funeral”
– Jack Straw was there, as was my Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermott Ahern. As far as I know, the Deputy Secretary of State of the US was there too.
Which Arab heads of state?
Some Arab heads of state in Cairo were:
Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, de facto head of state
King Abdullah of Jordan
President of Yemen
A number of (lowly) ministers from Kuwait (understandable), UAE, Oman and Bahrain
I’m sure there were many more but I didn’t get to see much coverage.
Unlike Arabs states, many Western countries decided not to send their top leaders.
The heads of state who attented the funeral were of (some of them already Abby mentioned) Algeria, Egypt (President Hosni Mubarak), Indonesia, Yemen, Jordan (King Abdullah), Lebanon, Tunisia, South Africa (President Thabo Mbeki and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe; Arafat was their long-standing support for their liberation movements), Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudia Arabia,…I probably forgot someone, but those were the most important.