Finally, confirmed: Dead. (AP):
“Yasser Arafat, the guerrilla leader turned Nobel Peace Prize winner who forced his people’s plight into the world spotlight, died Thursday at age 75 – still reviled by many as a terrorist.
Arafat died at 3:30 a.m. in a French military hospital. His last days were as murky and dramatic as his life. Arafat was flown to France on Oct. 29 after nearly three years of being penned in his West Bank headquarters by Israeli tanks.
He initially improved but then sharply deteriorated as rumors swirled about his illness. Neither doctors nor Palestinian leaders would say what killed Arafat. ”
…Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia was expected remain in charge of day-to-day governing, while Mahmoud Abbas, the former prime minister, would take over running the Palestine Liberation Organization, which also represents Palestinians abroad.
President Bush issued a statement of condolence to the Palestinian people.
“We express our condolences to the Palestinian people. For the Palestinian people, we hope that the future will bring peace and the fulfillment of their aspirations for an independent, democratic Palestine that is at peace with its neighbors,” the president said.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Arafat and assassinated Israeli leader Yitzak Rabin, said:
“The biggest mistake of Arafat was when he turned to terror. His greatest achievements were when he tried to build peace.”
Did someone just pull the plug? Was his death AIDS-related or not? Unless someone at that hospital writes a tell-all, it won’t come out. And now the chaos begins, especially about the money.