Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas hospitalized

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is in a hospital following cardiac catheterization.

Story highlights

  • Doctors say heart surgery on Palestinian leader was successful
  • Abbas attended funeral of Israeli statesman Shimon Peres in late September

(CNN)Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is recovering in a hospital after undergoing heart surgery, his office told CNN on Thursday.

Abbas, 81, underwent cardiac catheterization, a process in which a tube is inserted into a large blood vessel that leads to the heart.
    The procedure is usually performed to find out if a patient has a disease of the heart muscle, valves or coronary arteries, according to the American Heart Association.
    The surgery was successful and Abbas is now asleep under sedation, say doctors.

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    One of the last times the Palestinian leader was seen in public was at the funeral of Israeli statesman Shimon Peres in late September. In a brief moment of reconciliation, Abbas shook hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
    The two men have often been on opposite sides of a political divide that sometimes seems unbridgeable.