Peres Recovering After Heart Scare: Doctor

Shimon Peres
The Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AFP) –  Former Israeli president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres was making an “excellent” recovery on Friday after treatment for a heart problem, his surgeon said.

“His condition is excellent, the widening of the artery was successful,” professor Victor Guerta, who performed cardiac catheterisation on Peres at Sheba hospital near Tel Aviv, told public radio.

“He is feeling well this morning… and we shall be able to send him home in a few more days,” he said.

The radio said that Peres, 92 and known as a workaholic, planned to fly next Wednesday to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he had scheduled 15 meetings with world leaders and international officials.

“Technically he could fly to Davos… (but) that would not normally be our recommendation,” Guerta said. “I imagine that he will be persuaded not to do it.”

He added that Peres, currently resting in intensive care, was expected to get out of bed later on Friday.

The Jerusalem Post reported that shortly after the procedure Peres asked that a book on Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s daughter be brought to his bedside for him to continue his “riveting” read.

He also felt hungry and ordered a meal from the hospital menu, it said.

The elder statesman and towering figure in Israeli politics for decades was hospitalised Thursday “after experiencing chest pains”, his spokesman said.

Michael Eldar, head of the cardiology institute at Sheba, told reporters that Peres had suffered a “mild cardiac event”.

A co-architect of the 1993 Oslo peace accords, Peres won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated the following year, and then-Palestinian president Yasser Arafat.

The last of Israel’s founding fathers, Peres has held nearly every major office in the country, including prime minister twice and president from 2007-2014.