Former Israeli president Shimon Peres ‘fighting for his life’
September 28, 2016
Israeli ex-president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres was "fighting for his life" Tuesday after a stroke suffered earlier this month, a source close to the veteran statesman said.
The downturn in the 93-year-old's condition came about two weeks after the stroke that put Israel on edge over the health of its last remaining founding father.
He has been hospitalised near Tel Aviv since September 13, when he was admitted to hospital feeling unwell and suffered the stroke with internal bleeding while there.
He has been under sedation and respiratory support in intensive care.
"The president is fighting for his life," the source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"His health position is very, very difficult. His doctors are worried about his health."
The source said later that family members were at the hospital.
A spokeswoman for Sheba Medical Centre at Tel Hashomer, where Peres is being treated, was more cautious in describing his current state, but called his condition "very, very serious."
"The brain damage is permanent," the spokeswoman, Lee Gat, told AFP.
Peres has held nearly every major office in Israel, serving twice as prime minister. He was also president, a mostly ceremonial role, from 2007 to 2014.
He won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for his role in negotiating the Oslo Accords, which envisioned an independent Palestinian state.
The former hawk turned dove is widely respected both in Israel and abroad.
After suffering the stroke, he received an outpouring of support from across the world, including from Pope Francis, US President Barack Obama, the Clinton family, Donald Trump, Britain's ex-premier Tony Blair and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said he was hoping Peres made a "swift and full recovery", calling him "tireless in seeking peace between Israelis and Palestinians".
There had been signs of improvement last week.
On September 18, Peres's office said doctors planned to gradually reduce his sedation and respiratory support to judge his response.
His personal physician and son-in-law Rafi Walden had said at the time that Peres had seen "very slow, moderate improvement".
On Tuesday, Walden declined to comment in detail, saying only that his condition was "severe".
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