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Arafat Aide Says Palestinian Leader Not in Coma

A top aide to Yasser Arafat says the Palestinian leader is not in a coma.

The aide, Nabil Abu Rdainah, told reporters Sunday in Paris where Mr. Arafat is hospitalized that the Palestinian president is in stable condition in the intensive care unit.

However, some reports say the 75-year-old Palestinian leader has been in a coma since last week as doctors work to find out what ails Mr. Arafat, who at times has been described as near death.

Meanwhile, Israel's defense minister Shaul Mofaz said during a cabinet meeting today that preparations have been made to bury the long-time Palestinian leader in Gaza. Mr. Arafat has made it clear in the past that he wants to be buried in Jerusalem when he dies.

Some of this information provided by AP and Reuters.