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Arafat Aide Denies Plo Leader Fainted

A senior aide to Yasser Arafat denied reports Sunday that the Palestinian leader passed out during a weekend conference in Cairo.

Palestinian Cabinet minister Nabil Shaath dismissed reports from Israel Radio and other news media that Arafat, 68, fainted Friday at the Arab League economic conference.

“This is false … because President Arafat was under the spotlight … and everyone could see that he was in good condition,” Shaath said in a statement issued by his office.

The Associated Press reporter at the conference, who saw Arafat twice that day, said he appeared normal.

Israel’s Channel 2 TV reported Friday that Arafat is suffering from a severe illness that causes his face and hand to twitch, and that Palestinian leaders were looking for a successor.

Palestinian officials also denied the report about the search for a successor.


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