A senior Muslim cleric who visited ailing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in a French hospital today (Wednesday) described his condition as "very difficult," but said "he is still alive."
Tayseer al-Tamimi said he read verses of the Koran (the Muslim holy book) at the bedside of Mr. Arafat, who remains in a deep coma and on life support since Tuesday.
Shortly before the visit, the cleric rejected suggestions of turning off the life support system, saying that is prohibited in Islam.
In the West Bank city of Ramallah, the Palestinian leadership is discussing funeral arrangements for Mr. Arafat.
Egyptian officials say President Hosni Mubarak has offered to hold an official funeral in Cairo.
Israeli officials say Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has agreed to allow Mr. Arafat to be buried at his leadership compound in Ramallah.