Ab­bas gets clean bill of health af­ter checkup

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

RAMALLAH, West Bank: Palestinian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ab­bas, 82, un­der­went a checkup at a West Bank hos­pi­tal yes­ter­day and his doc­tors said the re­sults were good. Ab­bas un­der­went rou­tine checks, in­clud­ing blood tests and X-rays at the pri­vate Al Istishari Hos­pi­tal near the West Bank town of Ramallah, and left af­ter 90 min­utes, said the hos­pi­tal di­rec­tor, Dr Fathi Abu Mughli. “The re­sults are good,” Abu Mughli told The As­so­ci­ated Press, but did not elab­o­rate.

Ab­bas was flanked by aides and smil­ing when he left the hos­pi­tal. Ab­bas has suf­fered heart prob­lems in the past, but his doc­tors have said he is fine. A year ago, Ab­bas un­der­went an emer­gency heart pro­ce­dure af­ter suf­fer­ing ex­haus­tion and chest pains. He went through a num­ber of tests, in­clud­ing a car­diac catheter­i­za­tion, a pro­ce­dure that can de­tect and treat heart prob­lems, but was given a clean bill of health.

Last month, Ab­bas dis­pelled ru­mors he had suf­fered a stroke. Any health scare for Ab­bas height­ens con­cerns over the un­cer­tain lead­er­ship sit­u­a­tion in the Palestinian ter­ri­to­ries - which are di­vided be­tween two ri­val gov­ern­ments and where there is no suc­ces­sion plan for the ag­ing leader. Ab­bas, who has no plans to step down, has ig­nored calls to ap­point a suc­ces­sor, set­ting the stage for a bit­ter power strug­gle if he is in­ca­pac­i­tated.

Ab­bas was elected pres­i­dent in 2005 for what was sup­posed to be a four-year term. But in 2007 the ri­val Ha­mas mil­i­tant group force­fully seized con­trol of the Gaza Strip af­ter their vic­tory in par­lia­men­tary elec­tions a year ear­lier. Ab­bas re­mained in power, left in charge of au­ton­o­mous en­claves in the Is­rae­lioc­cu­pied West Bank. Ab­bas, who is a heavy smoker and over­weight, was treated years ago with prostate can­cer and has had a stent in­serted to treat artery block­age. — AP

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