Palestinian officials say ailing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has lost consciousness several times while in the intensive care unit of a French military hospital.

The officials say Mr. Arafat has drifted in and out of consciousness since Wednesday. There are conflicting reports about his present condition and it is not clear whether he is in a coma.

Doctors at the Paris hospital are expected to speak to reporters later Thursday about Mr. Arafat's condition. The Palestinian officials provided no more details.

Mr. Arafat has been receiving emergency medical treatment at the hospital since late last week. He was airlifted to France after being ill for about two weeks.

The exact nature of his illness is still not clear, but officials say he was experiencing intense stomach pains, diarrhea and vomiting.

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