Is recovery possible for Yasser Arafat?

Palestinian President &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Yasser Arafat still remains in a coma. His condition is unchanged but critical. However, his closest adviser insisted that a recovery was possible.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei did not deny the possibility Arafat had been poisoned, but said he did not have a final report on Arafat's condition.

"Despite the critical state of health of President Arafat, his condition is not irreversible, as certain media have reported, and we hope that his condition will improve in coming days," senior adviser Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP, as News24 reported.

Ahmed Qureia, in a bid to preserve calm, made a rare visit to the &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Gaza Strip for talks with rival Palestinian groups.

Qureia met for four hours with representatives of the 13 major Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, as well as security chiefs, lawmakers and officials of Arafat's Fatah faction. Such a broad gathering is extremely rare.

He was accompanied on the visit by Parliament Speaker Rauhi Fattouh, who would step in as a caretaker president of the Palestinian Authority if Arafat dies, says CBC News.

Khaled al-Batsh, a leader of the militant Islamic &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Jihad movement, said Palestinians feared Israel would take advantage of Arafat's death to attack.

"There is no room to talk about stopping any form of resistance against the enemy as long as the occupation and aggression continue," Hamas's Zuhri added.

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