RAMALLAH Ñ Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat appears to
have recovered from exhaustion.
Palestinian sources said Arafat was concerned that he had been poisoned
as part of an assassination plot by Israel and the United States. They said
that Arafat sent for a medical team from Jordan when his own physicians
could not determine his ailment.
"He was very tired and alarmed that he had been poisoned," a source
said. "After a few days of arrest and a thorough examination, he's back at
work again. The crisis is over."
Over the weekend, Arafat, 74, complained of nausea and canceled
virtually all of his meetings. The exception was a brief session with Prime
Minister-designate Ahmed Qurei on Monday, Middle East Newsline reported.
The absence of Arafat over the weekend sparked rumors that he had been
incapacitated by a heart attack. After he completed his tests on Monday,
Arafat emerged from PA headquarters in Ramallah smiling.
Palestinian sources said Arafat resumed his normal schedule on Tuesday
after three days of relative inactivity. The sources said the PA chairman
was given a clean bill of health by a team of physicians who arrived from
Jordan in an emergency visit on Monday.
The team of Jordanian physicians arrived by special plane on Monday to
examine the PA chairman. The team included leading Jordanian coronary
specialist, Yusef Kasus and Arafat's personal physician, Ashraf Kurdi.
The Jordanian team gave Arafat a range of tests and left Ramallah on
late Monday. The team was said to have found that Arafat was merely
exhausted and was not poisoned. In June, Arafat accused Israel of trying to
Arafat was said to have come under great stress over the last month
after he forced the resignation of Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and searched
for a replacement. Sources said that as early as two weeks ago, Arafat was
unable to stand up for more than a minute when meeting Palestinian