Abbas suffering from exhaustion, say doctors after hospital visit

RAMALLAH — Medical doctors and Palestinian officials say 82-year-old Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is suffering from exhaustion, leading him to undergo medical checks at a West Bank hospital over the weekend.

Hospital officials initially only said that Abbas underwent routine exams and that the results were good.

However, doctors and Palestinian officials said Sunday that Abbas was exhausted. One physician said that Abbas suffered from an inflammation of the stomach, aggravated by stress.

All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss Abbas’s health with the media.

Abbas was admitted on Saturday to a hospital in Ramallah, for what his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said was a routine checkup.

Abu Rudeineh told the official Wafa news agency that Abbas was undergoing physical tests at Istishari Hospital and would be released later that afternoon.

The visit came after two weeks of sharp tensions with Israel amid Palestinian protests over security measures at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

The PA president, who is a heavy smoker and is overweight, was treated several years ago for prostate cancer, and has also had a stent inserted in his heart to treat artery blockage.

In October, he underwent an emergency cardiac catheterization suffering exhaustion and chest pains.

The Haaretz newspaper reported Saturday that Israeli and Palestinian officials believe the health of the Palestinian leader is deteriorating, citing unnamed sources.

An unnamed Palestinian official told the Ynet news site that Saturday’s checkup was originally scheduled at a hospital in Jordan, but Abbas opted to go for treatment in Ramallah to avoid having to coordinate security for his departure from the West Bank with Israel.

Abbas’s latest checkups revived the debate over who will succeed him.

In power since 2005, he has refused to groom a successor. In the current disarray in Palestinian political institutions, there is no clear path toward choosing one.

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