TEL AVIV — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ health has significantly deteriorated in recent days, according to a source in the office of the Palestinian leader.
The PA insider, who spoke to Breitbart Jerusalem on condition of anonymity, said a meeting between Abbas and Chinese Vice Prime Minister Wang Yang was delayed for two hours last Friday because of what the source described as Abbas’ “weak” physical condition.
The insider further revealed that numerous other meetings were cancelled over the past few days, though Abbas did sit down with some foreign delegations.
The source in Abbas’ bureau said the Palestinian leader has been visiting his medical team in Amman, Jordan with increased frequency over the past few weeks.
The office of PA Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh released the following statement in response to a Breitbart Jerusalem query on the matter of Abbas’ health:
“No meetings were cancelled or delayed, including the meeting with the Chinese guest. President Abbas is in good health.”
This past summer, numerous media reports surfaced alleging that Abbas intends to resign before the next Palestinian elections, with some citing his health as a reason. Palestinian law requires elections every four years, but the last took place ten years ago. Abbas has remained PA leader by annually extending an “emergency rule” decree in order to delay elections.
In August, The New York Times cited two sources on the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) saying that Abbas intends to step down as chairman of the committee while retaining his position as PA President.
At the time, PLO official and Senior Negotiator Saeb Erekat denied that Abbas was planning to step down from his position as chairman.
This is not the first time Abbas’ health has become an issue. In December 2014, rumors circulated that Abbas had suffered a stroke, prompting the Palestinian president to make a rare public appearance at a Ramallah supermarket with a Palestinian television crew in tow.