(JTA) – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was hospitalized in Ramallah on Saturday, July 29 for what his spokesman called a routine medical checkup. But doctors and Palestinian officials speaking anonymously on Sunday told media outlets that Abbas, 82, was hospitalized due to exhaustion and stress.
Abbas is overweight and a heavy smoker, though he reportedly recently switched to electronic cigarettes. He had a cardiac cauterization in October 2016 after suffering chest pains, a procedure he also had in 2008 and 2005. He had prostate surgery in the United States in 2001. Abbas, who has been PA president for more than a decade, has not yet appointed a successor in case his health deteriorates. Haaretz reported Sunday that the Israeli defense establishment is concerned about what it believes is the deteriorating health of Abbas, which would lead to a political changing of the guard at the PA.