Abbas Released After Nine Days in West Bank Hospital

'Thank God I am leaving the hospital in good health and I will return to work tomorrow,' Abbas says at hospital's lobby

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas talks to media after leaving hospital, in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank May 28, 2018.
\ MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/ REUTERS

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was released from hospital in Ramallah on Monday after nine days, according to a Reuters witness.

"Thank God I am leaving the hospital in good health and I will return to work tomorrow," Abbas said at the hospital's lobby. "The most important thing is that the homeland remains healthy and that Palestinians will realize their dream of establishing an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital."

Abbas was hospitalized on May 21 following minor ear surgery. He was reported to be suffering from a lung infection, and doctors said he was responding well to treatments. A day later Abbas allowed Palestine TV to film him in the hospital, where he is seen walking unassisted. Israeli Knesset member Ahmad Tibi (Joint List), a physician, said he visited Abbas, adding his condition has "markedly improved."

Abbas, 82, has been hospitalized three times in the last month, and reports of his health have been conflicted. He has suffered from various ailments in recent years and remains a heavy smoker.

Abbas was kept in the hospital despite a statement announcing his planned release on Sunday at 2 P.M. A statement released by the medical director of Istishari Hospital said that Abbas' health "is improving rapidly." The medical staff is closely following his test results to determine the Palestinian leader's release date, he added.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas walks inside the hospital in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank May 21, 2018.
\ HANDOUT/ REUTERS

>> As Health Worsens, Israeli Intelligence Sees the Beginning of the End of Abbas’ Rule

On Saturday, journalists and media outlets were invited to Istishari Hospital in Ramallah, as well as to the Muqata compound for a press conference set to follow Abbas' release on Sunday. A Palestinian media source told Haaretz that the Muqata began logistical preparations for the press conference and then suddenly announced its cancellation, asking the media crews to leave the compound.