Abbas Undergoes Heart Test; Results Normal

RAMALLAH (Reuters) -
A still image taken from a handout video shows Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas shaking hands with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem September 30, 2016. REUTERS/Handoutl via Reuters TV ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.ISRAEL OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN ISRAEL TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas shaking hands with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the funeral of former President Shimon Peres, Sept. 30. (Reuters)

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas underwent a heart function test in the hospital on Thursday. The results were normal, a doctor said, after the 81-year-old leader was taken to the facility without any prior public announcement.

Abbas has long been reported to be suffering from heart problems, though Palestinian political officials have never confirmed this.

“The president was hospitalized today for routine tests and we performed a [cardiac] catheterization. The results look normal and he will leave the hospital in the next two hours,” Saeed Sarahneh, a senior doctor at Istishari Arab Hospital in Ramallah, told reporters.

In the procedure, a thin plastic tube is inserted into an artery or vein and then advances into the heart chambers to diagnose and clear any blockage.

Attending the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres last Friday, Abbas showed no outward sign of ill health. At the ceremony, he briefly chatted and shook hands with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.