Awaiting Abbas’ Release from Hospital
Despite his doctors’ assessment that he is in excellent health, when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will be released from the Ramallah hospital where he has been treated was uncertain as we go to press. The state of the 83-year old’s health has become the source of concern both for his personal condition and regarding the stability of the PA. Recent polls have shown a large majority of Palestinians preferring that Abbas step down, but having named no successor, his sudden departure is expected to trigger instability and unrest. Photos of Abbas in seemingly good condition in the hospital have been published over the past several days in order to allay fears. Abbas was elected to a four-year term in 2005 but conditions have not allowed an election since, prompting critics to insist his presidency is not legitimate.