Report: Israel to Let Arafat Get Treatment
JERUSALEM (AP) _ Israel will allow Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to briefly leave his compound to receive medical treatment in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Israeli defense ministry officials said Monday.
The decision by Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz permits Arafat to leave his compound in the city for the first time in 2 1/2 years, officials said.
Arafat would be allowed to leave for medical checks in a Ramallah hospital on condition he return afterward, the officials said. The decision was made in conjunction with the army chief of staff and the head of the Shin Bet security service.
Palestinian officials said Arafat, who suffered from the flu recently, likely would not take up the offer because he was recovering and had a medical clinic in his compound.
However, Israeli media said the defense ministry arrived at its decision after receiving a request from Palestinian officials.
Arafat has not left his compound since 2002. Israel would only allow Arafat to get treatment inside Ramallah, according to the reports.