Dismissing rumors of his deteriorating health, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told The Times of Israel on Tuesday night that a “minor surgery” he underwent earlier in the day was successful and that he was in good physical condition.
Abbas, 83, who had surgery at a hospital near Ramallah in the West Bank, said he had suffered from a problem with one of his ears but now felt better.
He was released from the hospital a few hours after the operation.
Abbas, a heavy smoker, has a long history of health issues, ranging from heart troubles to a bout of prostate cancer a decade ago. Last summer, he dispelled rumors he had suffered a stroke.
Speaking amid surging tensions in Gaza following two days of deadly clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops, Abbas stressed his commitment to the peace process and the “the two-state solution and an agreement that will bring about the establishment of a Palestinian state next to the State of Israel.”
The conversation did not directly deal with the violence on the Gaza border.
In recent months, Abbas has cut off all ties with US President Donald Trump’s administration after the announcement the US would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move its embassy there. On Tuesday night, following the embassy move to Jerusalem a day earlier, Abbas recalled the Palestinian envoy to Washington.
Abbas won presidential elections in 2005 but his Fatah party lost parliamentary polls to Hamas the following year.The tensions between the rival Palestinian factions escalated in 2007 into a near civil war as Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip.
Elections have not been held since and Abbas has remained in power in the West Bank despite his term expiring in 2009.