Photo Credit: Prime Minister's Spokesperson / Twitter
PM Netanyahu visits with family and medical staff at Chaim Sheba Medical Center who are taking care of former President Shimon Peres, including Prof. Rafi Walden, personal physician, deputy director of the medical center and son-in-law of the former president.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the bedside of former President Shimon Peres late Wednesday night, and spoke with his family and the medical staff at Sheba Medical Center.

“I think that I speak for the entire Israeli people, as well as for many people outside Israel, who feel a certain relief this evening,” he said in a statement after the visit.

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“The Sheba Medical Center has an exceptional staff of doctors, caregivers and nurses, an exceptional staff for an exceptional man,” he said.

“My prayer has, at least, strengthened today having seen the dedicated care as well as signs of hope. We will all continue to hope and prayer,” the prime minister said.

Peres was rushed to the hospital Tuesday night after suffering a massive cerebral hemorrhage. He was taken to the Neurosurgical ICU, sedated and placed on a respirator. An initial CT scan clearly showed the bleeding from the stroke, and a second CT scan an hour later showed little improvement.

Nevertheless, by Wednesday morning, there was some noticeable improvement, with Peres responding to verbal conversation by squeezing the doctors’ hands and showing signs of responsiveness during times of reduced sedation.

Doctors expressed guarded optimism but have warned the 93-year-old elder statesman has a long way to go, and that it is far too early to offer a prognosis.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.