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Palestinian Premier Mahmoud Abbas Heart ‘Normal’ After Hospital Tests

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas underwent a heart function test in hospital on Thursday and the results were normal, a doctor said, after the 81-year-old leader was taken to the facility without any prior public announcement.

Abbas has long been reported to be suffering from heart problems, though Palestinian political officials have never confirmed this.

“The president was hospitalized today for routine tests and we performed a (cardiac) catheterization. The results look normal and he will leave hospital in the next two hours,” Saeed Sarahneh, a senior doctor at Istishari Arab Hospital in the West Bank city of Ramallah, told reporters.

In the procedure, a thin plastic tube is inserted into an artery or vein, and then advances into the heart chambers to diagnose and clear any blockage.

Attending the funeral in Jerusalem on Friday of Israeli statesman Shimon Peres, Abbas showed no outward sign of ill health. At the ceremony, he briefly chatted and shook hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Abbas became Palestinian president after the death in 2004 of iconic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The Western-backed Abbas has pursued peace talks with Israel but the negotiations broke down in 2014.

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