The Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has not been released from a Ramallah hospital after being hospitalized with pneumonia Sunday—his third hospitalization in a week—but hospital sources say that his condition is good, and he will remain there for two more days. Meanwhile, PA media published images of Abbas walking the hospital corridors, in order to refute rumors of a deterioration in his condition.
Abbas, 82, was admitted to hospital for the third time in less than a week on Sunday. His doctors initially said he was admitted for medical tests following an ear surgery a week ago, but by Monday night they changed their version to admit he was suffering from an infection in his lungs.
“Medical tests and X-rays showed the presence of inflammation in the right lung. Treatment began by giving the necessary medication,” Dr. Saed al-Sarahneh, medical director of the private al-Istishari medical center in Ramallah, said in a statement. “He is now responding to the treatment quickly and is recovering,” the doctor said.
“The pneumonia was discovered in the series of tests Abu Mazen (Abbas’s nom de guerre) underwent recently, and the tests show recovery, but the doctors are saying he should stay under observation,” said Jibril Rajoub, former head of the PA Preventive Security Force, and member of the Fatah Central Committee.
“The president continues to be briefed on all the issues and work from the hospital,” Rajoub said, referring to the chairman by his titre délirant. “I updated him on the most important issues and there is no danger to his life, he is preoccupied with the issue of the reconciliation agreement and hopes to end his career only when the Palestinian state is established.”
Now that’s a big chunk of hope.
Earlier on Monday evening, MK Ahmad Tibi (Joint Arab List), who used to be Yasser Arafat’s special adviser on manipulating Israeli government officials, visited the current chairman and left the hospital in Ramallah feeling “encouraged.”
“I think he will stay in the hospital for a few more days,” Tibi, a gynecologist by trade, told the media. “I spent an hour together with Abu Mazen follwoing the aftar meal (to end the daily Ramadan fast),” Tibi said. Apparently when you’re a feverish 82-year-old Muslim they still make you fast on Ramadan.
“His condition has improved a lot today, he suffers from pneumonia and gets antibiotics intravenously,” Tibi said.
Tibi added that Abbas’s temperature had gone down and that he stood up and walked around the corridors: “We were walking together in the hall of the department, we talked about many political issues. He needs to be hospitalized for a few more days until the end of treatment,” Tibi said.
Of course, what no Ramallah official would admit is the fact that once the chairman gives up the ghost, a civil war is sure to erupt in Judea and Samaria, among at least four private armies and the Hamas. Abbas has succeeded in dismantling the institutions that would have ensured an orderly succession. Instead, after Abbas there will likely be a huge deluge.