Abbas’s condition improves a day after being hospitalized, officials say

After being hospitalized three times in one week, the 83-year-old's health is said to be improving.

Hospitalized Palestinian Authority President Abbas has lung infection, says doctor, May 21, 2018 (Reuters/PALESTINE TV/PALESTINIAN PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE HANDOUT)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s condition improved on Monday, two Palestinian officials said, a day after the 83-year-old was hospitalized for the third time in a week.
Abbas underwent surgery on his left ear last Tuesday at Istishari Hospital in Ramallah, according to the official PA news site Wafa.
He returned to the same hospital on Saturday night, to follow up on the results of the operation, and again on Sunday for what doctors described as “checks,” Wafa reported.
The Palestinian officials said that Abbas was suffering from pneumonia.
“The president had a high fever, but after doctors gave him antibiotics intravenously, it went down and his condition stabilized,” one of the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told The Jerusalem Post. “I hope that he will be released from the hospital in the next day or two.”
Other Palestinian officials did not say Abbas had pneumonia, but rather an ear infection.
PLO Executive Committee Secretary-General told Agence France-Presse that Abbas was suffering from “an inflammation of the ear that developed following the operation he recently underwent.”
On Monday afternoon, Erekat, who visited Abbas at Istishari earlier in the day, said the PA president’s health was “good” and that he was following up on his work from inside the hospital, according to Wafa.
Abbas has taken little initiative to pave the way for someone to succeed him as PA president and Palestine Liberation Organization chairman.
There are several Fatah and other Palestinian leaders who want to succeed Abbas in both posts, but they have refrained from making public statements to that effect.
President Reuven Rivlin, while meeting with Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes in Jerusalem, wished Abbas a speedy recovery.
A cardiologist was recently added to Abbas’s staff to monitor his health, a Palestinian source familiar with the matter confirmed to the Post in March.
The heart specialist, a German-Palestinian, has been working at the PA presidential headquarters in Ramallah alongside Abbas’s longtime personal doctor, the source said in a phone call.
Abbas also recently underwent medical checks at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland involving a biopsy, Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rajoub told official PA television in March, adding that the results of the examination showed the PA president was healthy.
Biopsies are typically performed to analyze possible abnormalities that appear on x-rays or scans, a US-based radiologist said in a phone call in March.
In October 2016, Abbas underwent a cardiac catheterization – a procedure used to diagnose and treat heart problems, which doctors said showed normal results.
On Monday, Abbas also received a phone call from Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who wished him good health, Wafa reported.
Reuters contributed to this report.