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Aides Say Arafat In Intensive Care

4 November 2004 -- Palestinian officials say Yasser Arafat's health has deteriorated and the Palestinian leader has been moved to an intensive-care unit of a French hospital.

Aides to the 75-year-old Arafat said doctors were conducting new medical tests to find out what has caused his condition to worsen. Details about Arafat's condition were not available.

News agencies have quoted some aides to the Palestinian leader as saying Arafat's life is not in any immediate danger. Other Palestinian officials denied any health setback, saying Arafat remains in "stable" condition.

Arafat has been staying a military hospital near Paris for treatment of an unidentified ailment. He was flown there on 29 October after he passed out briefly at his West Bank headquarters.

Israel has prepared contingency plans for Arafat's death, including how to deal with possible Palestinian protests.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said he would not permit Arafat to be buried in Jerusalem, claimed by both Israel and the Palestinians as their capital.