http://breaking.tcm.ie/2004/10/26/story172964.html Arafat has 'more than flu' 26/10/2004 - 19:35:21 Fears for Yasser Arafats health grew today after a hospital admitted his illness was more than just flu and Israeli officials speculated he has cancer. The 75-year-old Palestinian leader, already suspected of suffering from Parkinsons disease, has a large gallstone, a Palestinian hospital official said. He insisted the condition is not life-threatening and can be easily treated. But the illness forced the weakened Arafat to break his Ramadan fast and he underwent more medical tests at the urging of his doctors. Earlier, Palestinian officials insisted Arafat was simply recovering from a lengthy bout of the flu. However, Palestinian medical sources said he has been inexplicably exhausted in recent weeks. Teams of Egyptian and Tunisian doctors have examined him in recent days. Hospital sources said they took X-ray and ultrasound machines to Arafats compound two days ago to perform tests on his chest and stomach. The X-ray turned up clean, but the ultrasound uncovered a one centimetre long gallstone. Doctors recommended Arafat undergo minor surgery to remove the stone, but he has not yet responded, the source said. Arafat suffered from gallstones last year, and his aides denied rumours he had stomach cancer. In recent years, Arafat has developed a tremor in his lips and hands, considered a possible symptom of Parkinsons disease. Doctors have urged Arafat to rest and break the dawn-to-dusk Ramadan fast, saying he needs liquids and must take his medication at regular intervals. For the first 11 days of Ramadan, Arafat refused, but today he broke the fast for the first time, said a confidant, Sakher Habash, who visited the Palestinian leader. Arafat who has complained of stomach pain was to undergo more tests today, including blood tests, an official close to the Palestinian leader said. Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli Defence Ministry official, said Israel is closely monitoring Arafat. Obviously, we are very interested in the chairman, from all the angles, he said Israeli intelligence officials, who are keeping Arafat under close surveillance, speculated Arafat might be suffering from cancer. Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, who visited Arafat at his compound in Ramallah today, said Arafat is feeling better He needs some time to recover completely, but its nothing dangerous, Qureia said. Arafat has not left his compound since 2002 for fear of being snatched by Israeli troops. Israel has agreed to allow Arafat to leave the compound to undergo tests at a Ramallah hospital. It was not clear whether Arafat would be sent for further testing outside his compound, known as the Mukataa. The compound is equipped with a small clinic.