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Arafat opens eyes, communicating -- report
Updated: 2004-11-06 01:36

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat has partially emerged from his coma in a French hospital, opening his eyes and communicating with his doctors, an Israeli newspaper Web site said Saturday citing Palestinian sources.

Arafat opens eyes, communicating -- report
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and his wife Suha hold hands prior to Arafat's departure from his compound in the West Bank town of Ramallah in this picture released by the Palestinian Authority Friday Oct. 29, 2004. [AP]
YNET, the Web site of the leading Israeli daily Yediot Ahronoth, quoted a senior Palestinian official who visited Arafat overnight as saying the president had regained some control of his limbs and was seen moving in bed.

Friday, Palestinian envoy Leila Shahid said Arafat was in a "reversible coma," countering earlier reports that he had been declared brain-dead by doctors at the French hospital to which he was admitted with a stomach illness last week.

Doctors believe a full diagnosis of Arafat's condition will be ready within three days, YNET said.


Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's condition remained stable in a French military hospital Friday, a hospital spokesman said.

"The state of health of President Yasser Arafat has not got worse. He is considered to be stable compared to the last health bulletin (24 hours earlier)," said Christian Estripeau, chief doctor at the Percy hospital where Arafat is being treated.

The 75-year-old leader, who has for decades symbolized the Palestinian struggle for an independent state, was in a critical condition in an intensive care unit at the hospital outside Paris after slipping into a coma early Thursday.

Earlier Friday, Palestinian envoy to Paris Leila Shahid said Arafat was not brain dead but was critically ill in a coma, between life and death.

A senior Palestinian official said Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie, a leading moderate, had taken over some of Arafat's powers over security and financing.

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