Palestinian President, Abbas to be discharged from hospital Friday – Doctor

Palestinian President, Abbas to be discharged from hospital Friday – Doctor

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Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, who has been hospitalised with a lung infection since the weekend, should be discharged by Friday, a doctor treating him said on Wednesday.

Abbas, 82, was admitted to hospital on Sunday in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Doctors initially said the veteran leader had gone in for medical tests after ear surgery five days earlier, but on Monday they said he had a lung infection.

Abbas was hospitalised in the U.S. for medical checks in February during a trip to address the UN Security Council.

“Abbas is recovering and the medical team has decided that once we are sure everything is in order, within two days, he can leave,” Yasser Abu-Safiyeh, one of the doctors treating Abbas at Ramallah’s al-Itishari hospital said.

Abbas was filmed on Tuesday walking in the hospital wearing a dressing gown.

The official WAFA news agency said he had held phone conversations with a number of Arab leaders and had met Palestinian officials.

The Western-backed leader became president after the death in 2004 of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat.
Abbas pursued U.S.-led peace talks with Israel but they broke down in 2014.

Abbas’s democratic mandate expired eight years ago – there has been no presidential election since 2005 and the term of office is only five years.

His authority is essentially limited to the Israeli-occupied West Bank, with the Islamist group Hamas in control of the Gaza Strip.

Abbas has no formal deputy in the Palestinian Authority.
In theory, the speaker of parliament would take over as president on an interim basis if the president were to die in office.

But the speaker’s role is held by a Hamas representative, and Abbas’s Fatah faction would be likely to dispute the constitutional legitimacy of his taking over.

Taking on more vestiges of statehood, the Palestinians have joined UN Conference on Trade and Development as well as the UN Industrial Development Organisation.

Others are the Convention on the Prohibition, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons, UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov told the Security Council on Wednesday.

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