Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas undergoes heart test after being taken to hospital

81-year old  reportedly feeling 'tired'

Thursday 06 October 2016 13:16
Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly been taken to hospital
Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly been taken to hospital

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has undergone heart tests after being rushed to hospital suffering from chest pains and exhaustion.

Dr Mohammed Al-Batrawi, a heart specialist who treated the 81-year-old, said he went through a number of routine tests, including a cardiac catheterisation - a procedure in which a tube is inserted into a blood vessel leading to the heart.

He said Mr Abbas's arteries looked healthy and the test results were normal.

A Palestinian official earlier told the AP that Abbas was taken to a hospital in Ramallah after complaining of feeling “tired” on Thursday.

The 81-year-old, who has been in office since 2005, has been the subject of rumours of ill health in the last 12 months.

A statement carried by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA on Thursday and attributed to a presidential spokesperson said Mr Abbas' “health condition is very normal”.

While Mr Abbas mostly enjoys strong support from the international community for his non-violent pursuit of Palestinian statehood, his political career has been dogged by the seemingly unbridgeable divides between his own party Fatah and Hamas, the militant group in control of the Gaza Strip.

Mr Abbas and former Israeli President Shimon Peres made history in 1993 in brokering the Oslo Accords, in which Israel agreed to recognise Palestine as a negotiating partner in future talks on borders and Israeli settlement building, and created the Palestinian Authority.

Today, after years of very little progress in talks with Israel and constantly postponed local elections, many Palestinians have become disillusioned with what the Oslo Accords promised.

Mr Abbas travelled to Israel for the first time since 2010 last week to attend Mr Peres’ funeral.

While there he shook hands with current right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a symbolic gesture which earned him praise internationally and criticism at home.

Mr Abbas and Mr Netanyahu have agreed in principle to meet in Moscow for peace talks, the Russian Foreign Ministry said last month. A date has not been specified.

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