Hospital Official Says Tests Show Arafat Has a Gallstone

From Associated Press

Yasser Arafat has a large gallstone, a Palestinian hospital official said Tuesday, as the weakened Palestinian leader broke his Ramadan fast and underwent more medical tests at the urging of his doctors.

The gallstone is not life-threatening and can be easily treated, the official said.

Palestinian officials have insisted that Arafat, 75, is recovering from the flu. However, a Palestinian doctor who has examined Arafat said he had been inexplicably exhausted in recent weeks. Israeli officials speculated that he was suffering from stomach cancer.

The Palestinian Authority president also suffered from gallstones last year.

Teams of Egyptian and Tunisian doctors have examined Arafat in recent days. On Monday, he underwent an endoscopy, an examination of the digestive tract.


The hospital official said ultrasound and X-ray machines were brought to Arafat’s compound two days ago to perform tests. The ultrasound uncovered a 0.4-inch-long gallstone.