Palestinian president in hospital for minor ear procedure

May 15, 2018

Chilea's President Sebastian Pinera, left, prepares to shake hands with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas as they pose for photos during a welcoming ceremony at La Moneda Presidential Palace in Santiago, Chile, Wednesday, May 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian state news agency says the Palestinian president is in a hospital and set to undergo a minor ear operation.

The Wafa agency says Tuesday that President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to be discharged from the Ramallah hospital later in the day.

The 83-year-old Abbas has endured a series of recent health scares which have revived anxiety about a battle over who will succeed the Palestinian leader.

Abbas, a heavy smoker, has a long history of health issues, ranging from heart troubles to a bout with prostate cancer a decade ago. Last summer, he underwent a health checkup at a Ramallah hospital and separately dispelled rumors he had suffered a stroke.

Abbas insists he is fine, but potential successors are quietly jockeying for position.

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