Yasser on his deathbed?
From the "Palestine International Press Centre" website. Salt recommended; English translation somewhat ragged.
Raanan Gissin, Sharon's advisor, threatened that President Arafat's days in power are "numbered."
I think he actually said "days are numbered," but go on.
Gissin stated Monday evening that the removal of Arafat is imminent. He believed that, Israel would expedite putting in effect the already decision to forcibly remove Arafat, Arab48 online edition published today. Gissin threats coincided with rumors circulated Monday in Rammallah accusing Israel of slipping venom doses to President Arafat in order to gradually poison him, Arab48 added.
Or perhaps it's the death rays! (Insert maniacal laugh here.)
Palestinian sources linked such rumors with health downhill of President Arafat nowadays, suffering influenza and dyspepsia that summons up the checkup of doctors day by day.
Or, he could just be an old guy over 70 whose lifestyle is catching up with him. Naaah, can't be; must be the venom or the death rays.
It's prob'ly me. I mumble incantations against him every night before I go to bed. And I have one of those dolls that you stick pins into...
Israel's security cabinet decided-in principle-to "remove" Mr. Arafat last month, but did not say how or when, action would be taken. Arrest, isolation, deportation, or possibly killing him [I vote for this one!] are said to be among the options. On Sunday, President Arafat also announced an emergency state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and issued a decree of forming an emergency cabinet with 8 ministers
[to replace the regular, non=emergency cabinet with 138 ministers]
due to the worsening situation and to ward off any possible strikes in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Followup, from Jerusalem Post...
Four ambulances that were seen entering Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's compound in Ramallah on Monday afternoon triggered off rumors that he was seriously ill.
One for each arm and each leg?
Within minutes, senior officials in the compound were bombarded with phone calls from curious journalists. Arafat's spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, dismissed reports that Arafat had been taken to a local hospital. He said Arafat suffered from exhaustion and was recovering.
"It's only exhaustion. Happens to him regularly."
But another senior official said Arafat's health has rapidly deteriorated over the past two weeks. "I don't think it's the flu as some people say," he said. "The president hasn't been feeling well for some time and his health seems to be worsening."
It won't be long now. I can feel it in my bones... Or maybe my arthritis is acting up.
He said it was possible that Arafat, 74, has caught a number of viruses as a result of shaking hands and exchanging kisses on the cheek with thousands of people who came to see him over the past few weeks following Israel's decision to "remove" him.
"Success, sir! The deadly toxin has been delivered by a pair of Arab lips!"
"Good, Smedley! Very good! I must inform Number One!"
On Sunday, a pale and fragile-looking Arafat met in his office with the new PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei.
"Yasser! You look so pale and fragile!"
"Mahmoud! Shoot him!"
"You can't shoot me! I'm the prime minister!"
Palestinians said they have never before seen Arafat in such a condition. "You can see that he's very ill," said someone who attended the meeting. "He can hardly speak. Something bad is happening to him."
It's a deadly toxin, available only in Samoa...
Some PA officials said Arafat's decision to declare a state of emergency in the West Bank and Gaza Strip could be linked to his illness. "It's possible that he doesn't want to leave a vacuum behind," said one PA official. "He must have discussed the issue with Abu Ala [Qurei]."
"Whaddya think, Ahmed? Should I declare a state of emergency?"
"Mahmoud! Put the gun down!"
Last week, the PA summoned a team of doctors from Jordan to examine Arafat after he complained of severe abdominal pain. They concluded that he had recovered from a mild illness and only needed some rest. At first, his aides suspected that he had been poisoned. Arafat had been barfing tossing his felafel vomiting for several days. Shortly after the Jordanian team returned home, a journalist in Ramallah quoted a senior PA official as saying that "Arafat's days are numbered."
"Mahmoud! Shoot him, too!"
On Monday evening, journalists and visitors were barred from entering Arafat's compound. The decision only added to the growing speculation about Arafat's health.
I'll be oiling my ululator for the rest of the afternoon...

Posted by: Mike 2003-10-07