Palestinian PM suffers heart attack in US

Spokesman says Salam Fayyad underwent surgery after feeling chest pain during trip to attend son's graduation.

    Fayyad has been the prime minister since 2007 [Reuters]

    Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has suffered a heart attack while visiting the US and is recovering at a Texas hospital, a spokesman has been quoted by the Associated Press as saying.

    Fayyad, 59, was in Austin to attend the college graduation of his son, Khaled, when he felt strong chest pains on Sunday, said the prime minister's spokesman, Jamal Zakout.

    Fayyad, a heavy smoker, underwent tests showing a blockage in a coronary artery, Zakout said.

    The spokesman said he suffered a heart attack while at the Seton Medical Center in Austin.

    Doctors performed a catheterisation to open the artery, Zakout said, adding that Fayyad was expected to leave the hospital in two days.

    Fayyad has been prime minister since 2007. He was appointed after Palestinian Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, fired then-Prime Minister Ismail Haniya of Hamas, following the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip.

    Fayyad, a political independent, is based in the West Bank, while Hamas continues to control Gaza. He could lose his job as a result of a recent reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Abbas' Fatah movement.

    SOURCE: Associated Press


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