Suffering chest pains, Abbas taken to hospital for the third time in a week
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Erekat: He's being kept in overnight, condition is good

Suffering chest pains, Abbas taken to hospital for the third time in a week

Sources say PA leader had trouble walking, has fever and may have pneumonia; his office says he is following up on ear surgery from last week

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks at a press conference in Istanbul, December 13, 2017. (AFP/Yasin Akgul)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks at a press conference in Istanbul, December 13, 2017. (AFP/Yasin Akgul)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was taken to a Ramallah hospital Sunday for the third time in a week.

Sources told Israel’s Channel 10 and the AFP news agency that he was suffering from chest pains. A Palestinian official told the Associated Press Abbas had a fever.

He was still hospitalized on Sunday evening.

Israel’s Channel 10 news said he was rushed to the hospital, and that eyewitnesses said he “had trouble walking” and even “needed artificial respiration” at the hospital. The TV report stressed that the hospital had not confirmed this.

The report quoted hospital sources saying Abbas had a chest infection, and had been given antibiotics.

His office said Abbas was undergoing a followup examination after having surgery in his ear Tuesday, and that doctors said he was in “satisfactory” condition.

A PA source earlier Sunday told the Ynet news website the Palestinian leader had been suffering from chest pains. “It might be pneumonia,” the source said. “He’s being examined at the hospital.”

Saeb Erekat. (Amr Nabil/AP)

The top PLO official Saeb Erekat was quoted by Channel 10 on Sunday afternoon saying he had just visited Abbas. Eerekat said Abbas’s “condition is good,” and that he expected Abbas to leave hospital on Monday or Tuesday. He was being kept under observation, Erekat was quoted saying.

A hospital source later told Hadashot TV Abbas would likely be discharged on Monday.

Last Tuesday Abbas, 83, underwent surgery in his ear which he described as “minor,” telling The Times of Israel he was in good shape.

On Saturday he was briefly taken to hospital again, with his office saying he had gone to follow up on the operation.

The PA source had insisted Sunday’s health incident was not tied to the PA leader’s visits to the hospital last week.

Abbas earlier in the week dismissed rumors of declining health. A heavy smoker, he 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.

Abbas has not designated a successor, and the Palestinians have not held presidential elections since 2005 because of the split between Abbas’s Fatah party and the Hamas terror group, which rules Gaza.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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