Palestinian strongman Yasir Arafat is in serious medical condition, described cryptically by different sources as "critical", "life-threatening", "serious", or "stable", and ranging from "a bad case of the flu" to "stomach cancer".
Both Israeli security forces and Palestinian Authority security apparatuses are on a heightened state of alert (where do you go from already high alert?) in anticipation of violence in the event Arafat's health deteriorates, or if, in fact, what ails him is terminal.
With six days until American elections, this is just part of the complete wild card that the Middle East is; Sharon's Gaza pullout plans are already causing turmoil, and it's not as if the overall regional situation, what with Iraq being a failed state, and Iran rapidly building up a potential nuclear strike capability (both courtesy of George W. Bush) is promising. It had been prophesized that Arafat was likely to die on a Jewish holiday; the High Holidays have passed. Then again, goes the old joke, any day Arafat dies would be a Jewish holiday.
The problem is, the joke isn't funny. Which is why Israel has stated clearly they will allow Arafat to be moved-- anywhere-- for medical treatment, or medical treatment to be brought to him. None of this is funny, actually. Not even a little.