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Fainting bouts keep Arafat worried: Time

NEW YORK, OCT 1: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat passed out at a meeting earlier this month in Cairo and is worried about his own health, ...

By: AFP |
October 2, 1997

NEW YORK, OCT 1: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat passed out at a meeting earlier this month in Cairo and is worried about his own health, the weekly magazine Time has reported.

Arafat’s aides have denied the incident, reported to have occurred as the Palestinian leader spoke with the Foreign Minister of Qatar, that it took place at all and have insisted their leader was in excellent health.

But an unnamed Palestinian official “confirmed the blackout” in remarks to Time, saying “Arafat’s lips turned blue and his eyes rolled in to the back of his head before a doctor came to revive him.”

The story also cited information from “an intelligence agency” which said the 68-year-old Palestinian leader had told close associates that he did not expect to live much longer.

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“Arafat has taken to telling close aides that he doesn’t think he’ll make it to his 70th birthday, two years away,” Time said in its US edition published on Monday.

Many Israelis were alarmed by an interview with the Palestinian leader on Israeli television earlier this month in which he appeared tired, agitated and trembling.

Time said “some observers believe he has early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.”

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A Palestinian official said on Friday that Arafat was in “the best of health”.

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First published on: 02-10-1997 at 12:00:00 am

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