The 83-year-old Palestinian leader was admitted to a Ramallah medical center last week due to a high fever. He was later diagnosed with pneumonia.


Abbas Photo Credit: Flash 90

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will not be discharged from Istishari Hospital on Sunday afternoon, despite previous reports about his expected departure.

Reports surfaced earlier Sunday about the hospital planning to discharge Abbas at 1:00 PM. It was even reported that the Palestinian leader was going to hold a press conference before leaving the medical center. However, a few hours later, his doctors reversed their decision and said that he will remain in the hospital until further notice, without offering an explanation.

Despite his medical state, Abbas received Chinese Middle East Special Envoy Gong Xiaosheng at the hospital yesterday. Aside from Gong, other officials were seen visiting Abbas as he received medical treatment, including MK Ahmad Tibi of Israel’s Joint Arab List party.

Tibi, who maintains a close relationship with the Palestinian leader, visited Abbas at the hospital at least twice. As he left the hospital yesterday, Tibi said that Abbas’s medical condition is improving. “I estimate that he will remain in the hospital for a few more days,” Tibi told Hadashot news. “His condition improved today. He’s suffering from a lung infection and receiving antibiotics.”

Abbas was admitted to the hospital last week due to a fever. Doctors at the medical center in Ramallah diagnosed him with pneumonia after running a few tests. The 83-year-old Palestinian leader’s most recent stay in the hospital came just a few days after he underwent ear surgery.

On Tuesday, JOL reported that a picture of Abbas at the hospital reading a newspaper with a distinct anti-Israel cartoon on the back page had surfaced on social media. Abbas has long been criticized in Israel for holding anti-Semitic views. Most recently, Abbas was criticized around the world for delivering a speech that included several anti-Semitic statements.

During the speech, he cited the “Jewish money-loaning businesses and banks” as the cause of the Holocaust. He also said it was a historical “fact” that no Jews were attacked in the Arab nations in the last 1,400 years.

Shortly after his statements made headlines around the world, a New York Times editorial slammed the Palestinian leader and even called for his dismissal over his “anti-Semitic tendencies.” The newspaper’s editorial board wrote that by including conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic myths in his speech, Abbas “shed all credibility as a trustworthy partner if the Palestinians and Israelis ever again have the nerve to try negotiations.”

The editorial board also mentioned that Abbas has a long and well-documented history of anti-Semitic remarks, highlighting that in the 1980s, he claimed in his doctoral dissertation that the six-million death toll of Jewish Holocaust victims was an exaggerated figure.