Abbas hospitalized for 'minor surgery'

PA chief admitted to Ramallah-area hospital for surgery on Tuesday.

AFP, Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas was admitted to a Ramallah-area hospital on Tuesday to undergo "minor surgery" on his ear, official media reported.

Abbas arrived at a hospital near Ramallah in Samaria for the operation and was due to be released "in a few hours", the official news agency Wafa said.

The health of the 83-year-old longtime smoker is a topic of regular speculation, with no clear successor identified.

In February he underwent what was then described as routine medical tests in the United States.

In recent months he has cut off all ties with President Donald Trump's administration after the announcement the US would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move its embassy there.

Abbas won presidential elections in 2005 but his Fatah party lost parliamentary polls to the Hamas terror group the following year.

It set off tensions between them that escalated into a 2007 near civil war as Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip.

Elections have not been held since, despite Abbas' term expiring in 2009.