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Abbas Spokesman: Palestinian President In Good Health After Hospitalization

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was discharged from a Ramallah hospital after undergoing what was officially described as “routine medical checks.” Palestinian media reported that Abbas, 82, is suffering from exhaustion and may be required to undergo an operation on his stomach—claims that were immediately denied by his spokesman. Abbas, a heavy smoker, has suffered heart problems in the past and last year underwent an emergency cardiac catheterization procedure. He also was previously treated for prostate cancer and in June rumors surfaced he had suffered a stroke. Any health scare for the Palestinian chief raises concerns over a potential power vacuum in the West Bank should he be incapacitated. Abbas has thus far not appointed a successor, setting the stage for what many believe will be a bitter power struggle after his tenure.