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Arafat's Funeral Scheduled for Friday


"I don't know anyone other than Arafat who has as much civilian Jewish blood on his hands since the time of the Nazis," Ariel Sharon said of him in 1995. According to a schedule presented at Wednesday's cabinet meeting, Yasir Arafat's funeral will take place Friday. His coffin will apparently be flown from Paris to Cairo, where a full ceremony, attended by world leaders, is to take place. From Egypt, the terrorist leader's body will be brought to Ramallah, as agreed to by the cabinet, to be placed in the Mukata headquarters. PA leaders yesterday reportedly decided the site would be a mausoleum, not a grave, until Arafat can be buried in Jerusalem.

Arafat Expected to Die Momentarily

By Ha'aretz &

Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasir Arafat is expected to die within hours and, if he does, his funeral will be held on Friday in Cairo, his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeinah said Wednesday. Speaking on his return from Paris, Abu Rudeinah told reporters at Cairo airport that it would be a miracle if Arafat were to survive his current medical crisis in a hospital on the outskirts of the French capital.

"Many organs have stopped working, except for Arafat's heart - it is still beating," Abu Rudeinah said. "Should the Palestinian leader die in the coming hours, as his doctors are expecting, there will be an official funeral in Cairo on Friday with the participation of kings, princes and heads of Arab and Islamic states," Abu Rudeinah added.

Earlier Wednesday, Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath said that Arafat's brain is working only partially because of hemorrhaging, and his organs, except for heart and lungs, "are not functioning well. His liver is not functioning well, his kidneys are not functioning well," Shaath told reporters after meeting with former Palestinian prime minister and PLO Secretary General Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Shaath said Arafat only had partial brain function because of hemorrhage. T

Meanwhile, a top Islamic cleric who arrived in Paris on Wednesday to attend Arafat's bedside said he had seen the Palestinian leader was alive, while the Palestinian envoy to France, Leila Shaheed, warned earlier in the day that Arafat was in the "final phase" of his life.

Speaking after his visit at the Paris hospital where Arafat is in critical condition, Sheikh Taisser Bayoud Tamimi said that he "remains alive." He earlier ruled out disconnecting the Palestinian leader from life-support machines. "Yes, he is sick and his condition is very difficult but he remains alive," Tamimi told reporters in Arabic after his visit at the hospital in Paris where Arafat is being treated.

Asked about turning off life-support systems as he arrived at the hospital, Tamimi said: "This is forbidden under Islamic law. As long as there is a manifestation of life present, from movement to temperature in the body, then he is alive," he said before entering the hospital. "I will stay next to the president calling for his recovery and for mercy," he added.

Earlier, Shaheed told France-Info radio that Tamimi was not coming "to disconnect" Arafat from life support. "It is clear, as for a Christian, as for a Jew, that a religious man needs to be with his patient when he is in the final phase of his life," Shahid said. "That is why he is here." Shaheed told the radio that Arafat was still "in a deep coma" Wednesday morning, but added there was a "complication in the state of all of his vital organs."

In Paris, Abbas, PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, Shaath, and Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker Rouhi Fathi were allowed into the hospital, where Arafat's wife, Suha, greeted them warmly, said Shaath, only 24 hours after accusing them of conspiring to "bury alive" her husband. Shaath later explained that she had been under enormous pressure, and her 4 a.m. outburst on Monday was based on a misunderstanding.

Doctors at the hospital spent two hours with the four Palestinian officials, informing them that tests had ruled out cancer or poisoning as the reason for Arafat's decline. Then the four picked Qureia to enter Arafat's room for a first-hand look at the Palestinian leader, on what they all conceded was his deathbed. Shaath rejected talk of "euthanasia" saying it was contrary to the Islamic faith, and that in any case Arafat was not in any pain that needed to be alleviated. He said that Arafat had not been in a coma for years or even months, which might have required alleviating the family's suffering.

Amid conflicting reports of Arafat's 'impending' death and eventual funeral location, one thing remains certain: Arafat's legacy as an arch-terrorist will be written in history. Many news media are reporting in the name of PA sources that arch-terrorist Arafat died Tuesday in his Paris hospital bed. Reuters also reported that Arafat suffered a brain hemorrhage Tuesday night, and that "aides said privately that he was dead."

Knesset member Aryeh Eldad (National Union) said in the Knesset, "There are not many things that have happened of late about which it is as appropriate to bless and rejoice over as the upcoming death of Yasir Arafat."

Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest ranking intelligence officer ever to have defected from the former Soviet bloc, wrote (Wall Street Journal, Jan. 12, 2002): "I am not surprised to see that Yasir Arafat remains the same bloody terrorist I knew so well during my years at the top of Romania's foreign intelligence service. I became directly involved with Arafat in the late 1960s, in the days when he was being financed and manipulated by the KGB... Gen. Sakharovsky asked us in Romanian intelligence to help the KGB bringing Arafat and some of his fedayeen fighters secretly to the Soviet Union via Romania, in order for them to be indoctrinated and trained. During that same year, the Soviets maneuvered to have Arafat named chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, with public help from Egypt's ruler, Gamal Abdel Nasser. er to kill Ambassador Noel..."

Iran Furnished Hizbullah with Eight Drones

By & Ha'aretz

The London-based a-Shark el-Awsat Arabic newspaper reported Iran has recently furnished Hizbullah with eight drones that are equipped with cameras and radar, and have an ability to fly at a maximum speed of 75 mph.

Earlier this week, IDF officials confirmed Hizbullah reports that one such pilotless aircraft did conduct a brief surveillance flight over northern Israel before crashing. Addressing members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee this week, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon explained that the drone is also capable of carrying an explosive device, making it an aerial bomb capable of striking out at targets in northern Israel. He said that the Hizbullah drone was capable of carrying an 88-pound explosive device.

Apparently, the drone carried a camera capable of transmitting images while the plane was in motion. On Monday, Hizbullah TV aired footage of what it said was the drone it had sent into Israel. What makes the drone incident unusual is that Iranian military experts from the Revolutionary Guards sent their people to a third country to act against Israel. Their support for Palestinian terror groups was usually done with money or weapons. In this case, Iranians were involved directly in launching the drone and preparing it for its mission.

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