Source Pravda.Ru

Israel ensures security during the funeral of the Palestinian leader

Israel will allow &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2002/09/24/37136.html ' target=_blank>Yasser Arafat to be buried in the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2001/06/01/6606.html ' target=_blank>Gaza Strip, the territory occupied by Israeli troops, if the Palestinian President dies. Shaul Mofaz, Israeli Defence Minister promised on Sunday to ensure security during the last preparations and Arafat’s funeral.

Arafat, who has been in hospital in France since Oct. 29, has said he wants to be buried in Jeruslaem, but an Israeli politician has said Jerusalem is for &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/politics/2002/04/08/27414.html ' target=_blank>Jewish kings, not Palestinian terrorists.

Palestinians are angry about the comment by Justice Minister Yosef Lapid.

&to=http:// english.pravda.ru/hotspots/2002/03/08/26875.html ' target=_blank>Palestinian officials met doctors and Arafat's wife at the hospital on Sunday, and plan further visits, says CBC News.

Mr. Arafat's condition was described as unchanged by a spokesman of the French military hospital in Paris where Mr. Arafat is variously said to be in an irreversible coma, a reversible one or no coma at all.

The rumor of Saturday was that Mr. Arafat had sat up and waved at his doctors; the latest rumor today is that he has suffered liver failure - denied by Mr. Shaath - and is being kept alive on machines while his aides and his wife fight over his burial place and his bank accounts.

There are also suggestions that the French authorities are becoming increasingly impatient with Mrs. Arafat's refusal to make any medical information public, but that could not be confirmed. Israeli officials contend that Mr. Arafat is "clinically dead."