Quelling health fears after ‘minor’ ear op., Abbas calls for two-state solution
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Quelling health fears after ‘minor’ ear op., Abbas calls for two-state solution

PA president, 83, discharged from Ramallah hospital a few hours after undergoing procedure

Avi Issacharoff, The Times of Israel's Middle East analyst, fills the same role for Walla, the leading portal in Israel. He is also a guest commentator on many different radio shows and current affairs programs on television. Until 2012, he was a reporter and commentator on Arab affairs for the Haaretz newspaper. He also lectures on modern Palestinian history at Tel Aviv University, and is currently writing a script for an action-drama series for the Israeli satellite Television "YES." Born in Jerusalem, he graduated cum laude from Ben Gurion University with a B.A. in Middle Eastern studies and then earned his M.A. from Tel Aviv University on the same subject, also cum laude. A fluent Arabic speaker, Avi was the Middle East Affairs correspondent for Israeli Public Radio covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war in Iraq and the Arab countries between the years 2003-2006. Avi directed and edited short documentary films on Israeli television programs dealing with the Middle East. In 2002 he won the "best reporter" award for the "Israel Radio” for his coverage of the second intifada. In 2004, together with Amos Harel, he wrote "The Seventh War - How we won and why we lost the war with the Palestinians." A year later the book won an award from the Institute for Strategic Studies for containing the best research on security affairs in Israel. In 2008, Issacharoff and Harel published their second book, entitled "34 Days - The Story of the Second Lebanon War," which won the same prize.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting of the Palestinian National Council at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on April 30, 2018. (AP/Majdi Mohammed)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting of the Palestinian National Council at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on April 30, 2018. (AP/Majdi Mohammed)

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.

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