Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Shimon Peres in hospital on Wednesday, a day after the elder statesman suffered a massive stroke and was rushed for treatment at Sheba Medical Center, outside Tel Aviv.
Peres was listed in serious condition but doctors said there has been improvement since his initial arrival in hospital. Peres was still sedated and on a respirator, but was stable and has responded to stimuli, the head of the hospital told reporters overnight Tuesday-Wednesday.
Emerging after the hospital visit Wednesday, Netanyahu told the waiting press: “I think I speak for the whole nation of Israel, and those outside Israel, who feel a sense of relief tonight.”
“He’s better tonight than he was a night ago, and I hope he will be better the next night,” Netanyahu said.
The prime minister praised the medical staff caring for the ailing president, whom Netanyahu described as “an outstanding human being.”
“I’ve seen the dedicated care and the signs of hope,” he said, addressing the staff. “It’s early to tell and we will continue to hope and pray and trust you.”
Netanyahu also spoke at length with members of Peres’s family, who were at the hospital.
On Tuesday, when the 93-year-old former president and prime minister was first taken to hospital, Netanyahu tweeted: “Shimon, we love you and the whole country is wishing you a speedy recovery.”