Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Sha'ath says Yasser Arafat has suffered liver and kidney failure and remains near death in a French hospital.

Speaking this (Wednesday) evening in the West Bank, Mr. Sha'ath said the Palestinian leader's heart and lungs are still functioning on life support, while all other organs have failed. He said it is very difficult to predict what will happen in the next 24 hours.

The 75-year-old leader has been comatose for a full week.

Mr. Sha'ath said an official funeral ceremony will be held in Cairo. He expressed anguish at making funeral plans while Mr. Arafat clings to life, but he said senior Palestinian officials were obligated to plan ahead.

He said Israel has agreed to the Palestinian plan to bury Mr. Arafat at his command compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah.