Shimon Peres: Israeli statesman in hospital after 'very small heart attack'

'His only complaint to his staff is that he cannot continue with today's itinerary,' says the former leader's son-in-law

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The Independent Online

Israeli elder statesman Shimon Peres was in stable condition in hospital after successfully undergoing minor surgery for a constricted artery that had caused chest pain, officials said.

The 92-year-old former prime minister and president "feels well and is fully conscious," after the catheterisation procedure at a hospital near Tel Aviv, his spokeswoman said.

Rafi Valden, Peres' physician and son-in-law, said he was feeling well after a "small heart attack".

"His only complaint to his staff is that he cannot continue with today's itinerary," Mr Valden told reporters.

Polish-born Peres is credited with setting up Israel's nuclear capabilities, and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for his role in reaching an interim peace deal with the Palestinians. He has served twice as prime minister and was president from 2007-2014.

As the last of Israel's founding fathers, the dovish Peres remains an important figure to many fellow citizens and has maintained an active public schedule, encouraging Middle East diplomacy and technological innovation.

He is also known for his stewardship of the Peres Center for Peace, a non-governmental organisation focused on building closer ties between Israel and the Palestinians, improving healthcare and developing local economies.