Paris media report Arafat died a few minutes ago…
Amid confusing statements over Palestinian leader’s condition, Palestinian PM Ahmed Qureia assumes some of his powers as Palestinian Authority chairman while Palestinian officials attempt to hammer out order of succession in Ramallah.
Activity sparked by Luxembourg prime minister’s announcement that Arafat had died Thursday evening. In Paris, Percy hospital issued a denial, stating his condition had deteriorated and he was under treatment in intensive care unit.
DEBKAfile’s sources report both statements true if Arafat is brain dead and kept alive on life support machines. Paris may be delaying final announcement for all-clear from Palestinian officials. Hence confusion.