Former Hamas leader calls Abbas in hospital to wish him well
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Former Hamas leader calls Abbas in hospital to wish him well

Khaled Mashaal speaks to 83-year-old PA leader, who is being treated for pneumonia

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal (left) meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo, February 23, 2012 (photo credit: Mohammed al-Hums/Flash90)
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal (left) meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo, February 23, 2012 (photo credit: Mohammed al-Hums/Flash90)

Khaled Mashaal, the former head of the Hamas terror group, phoned Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday to wish him a speedy recovery.

Abbas has been hospitalized for the past week with pneumonia. A source close to him said he may leave hospital on Monday but the hospital director said no date had been set for his discharge.

Ynet news site reported on Mashaal’s call to the 83-year-old PA president, but said that so far the current leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh had not contacted Abbas.

In October 2017, after a decade of strife stemming from Hamas’s violent 2007 takeover of the Gaza Strip, the group and Abbas’s Fatah party signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo in which they pledged to set aside their differences and pave the way for Palestinian unity. However, the two rival parties have since failed to reach understandings on the implementation of the deal, and continue to hold each other responsible for its failure.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas shown recovering in a hospital on May 22, 2018, reading a newspaper (Wafa news agency)

Abbas was admitted on May 20 to the Istishari Arab Hospital near Ramallah in the West Bank with complications following an ear operation, including high fever.

Officials have since confirmed he was being treated for pneumonia.

His extended hospitalization has led to widespread speculation over his condition, particularly with no successor publicly in line for the PA presidency.

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