On Wednesday, diggers started clearing ground in Arafat's Muqataa compound.
A day earlier, rumours of Arafat's death – triggered by unconfirmed TV
reports – had swept through Ramallah, but were quickly quashed by his
closest colleagues who were in Paris.
They admitted his coma had deepened and spoke for the first time about a
possible funeral - at the Muqata where he was held under virtual house
arrest by Israel since 2001.