Suffering abnormal heart rhythm, peacemaker Peres to get pacemaker
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Suffering abnormal heart rhythm, peacemaker Peres to get pacemaker

93-year-old former president will receive implant several months after undergoing surgery following mild heart attack

Raoul Wootliff is the The Times of Israel's political correspondent.

Former Israeli president Shimon Peres at an event marking 40 years since Operation Entebbe, held at the Peres Center for Peace in Tel Aviv, June 27, 2016. (Kelmer/Flash90)
Former Israeli president Shimon Peres at an event marking 40 years since Operation Entebbe, held at the Peres Center for Peace in Tel Aviv, June 27, 2016. (Kelmer/Flash90)

Former president and prime minister Shimon Peres will undergo surgery Monday to receive an artificial pacemaker, after he was diagnosed with abnormal heart rhythm in July following a series of minor health scares.

The procedure will take place at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, just outside Tel Aviv, and will be done under local anesthetic, according to a spokesperson for the former president. He is expected to be released from the hospital on Tuesday.

Peres turned 93 on August 2.

The implant was recommended by Peres’s doctors, including his personal physician, Dr. Raphi Walden, after he was diagnosed in July with atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm).

He suffered a mild heart attack in January and underwent a cardiac angioplasty to open a blocked artery. He has since been hospitalized twice after suffering chest pains.

Former president Shimon Peres speaks to the media upon his release from Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan on January 19, 2016, Peres was released from the hospital on Tuesday morning after having suffered a minor heart attack last week and was hospitalized for 5 days. (Photo by Flash90)
Former president Shimon Peres speaks to the media upon his release from Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan on January 19, 2016, Peres was released from the hospital on Tuesday morning after having suffered a minor heart attack last week and was hospitalized for 5 days. (Photo by Flash90)

Peres, now retired, had a 55-year political career culminating in a term as Israel’s president from 2007 to 2014. He remains active through his nongovernmental Peres Center for Peace, which promotes coexistence between Arabs and Jews.

Considered the last surviving member of Israel’s founding fathers, he served as prime minister twice — from 1984 to 1986 as part of a rotational government, and for a few months in 1995 and 1996 after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. He spent most of his career in the Labor Party.

In December, social media were flooded with rumors that Peres had died, leading him to take to Facebook to declare that rumors of his demise were greatly exaggerated.

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