Yasser Arafat's condition worsened Tuesday with Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Sha'ath saying he is very ill and has slipped deeper into a coma.

Palestinians throughout the West Bank and Gaza have been waiting anxiously for word on Yasser Arafat's condition.

Senior Palestinian leaders traveled to Paris to see Mr. Arafat and talk to his doctors. Foreign Minister Nabil Sha'ath said Mr. Arafat is very ill.

"His situation has deteriorated, especially last night. But since last Wednesday he has been in a coma. That coma has deepened."

However, Mr. Sha'ath said the Palestinian leader is still alive and his vital organs are still functioning. He ruled out removing him from life support.

He would not discuss any burial plans should Mr. Arafat succumb to this illness. But, officials in the West Bank city of Ramallah said they would seek to bury him at his Muqata headquarters.