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Senior Muslim Cleric in Paris to be Near Arafat


Palestinian officials say a senior Muslim cleric has arrived in Paris to visit ailing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who remains in a deep coma at a French military hospital. They say the Palestinian leadership decided to send Taissir Dayut Tamimi to be near Mr. Arafat at this critical time, believed to be his final hours.

Mr. Tamimi, who heads the Islamic Court in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, is said to be a close friend of the 75-year old Palestinian leader, who suffered a brain hemorrhage Tuesday.

Israeli radio says Israel's government has agreed to allow Mr. Arafat's body to be buried at his leadership compound in the West bank city of Ramallah, after his death.

And, Egyptian officials say President Hosni Mubarak has offered to hold an official funeral in Cairo.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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