Many Palestinians are beginning to think about post-Arafat era

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat is recovering from serious illness after a weekend of treatment and tests at a &to=http:// ' target=_blank>French military hospital but is still exhausted, a Palestinian official says.

Doctors treating the 75-year-old leader were waiting for test results before making a final diagnosis, said Leila Shahid, the permanent Palestinian envoy to Paris, on Monday.

"He is improving by the hour but he is very tired and exhausted," she told Reuters.

"His fatigue is mainly from the diarrhoea and vomiting but it is very clear that there is no sign of anything serious. No blood cancer of any sort and no tumours were found," she said, Reuters informed.

According to the CNN, Israel's chief of military intelligence, Maj. Gen. Aharon Zeevi-Farkash, did little to clear things up. He told a Cabinet meeting Sunday that Arafat's "situation is between full recovery and death," said an Israeli official who briefed reporters on the meeting.

"Arafat's condition is improving," the official quoted Zeevi-Farkash as saying. "The &to=http:// ' target=_blank>blood transfusions have helped. We don't know if it's viral infection, perhaps mono, or it's leukemia or another cancer."

Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath, however, has said all types of cancer have been ruled out.

Palestinian legislature member Hanan Ashrawi says it is important that Palestinian institutions function normally during Mr. Arafat's absence.

"We want to make sure that things proceed smoothly, that institutions function, and that despite the fact that the president is indisposed there is a political system functioning," she said.

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Author`s name Editorial Team