President Peres Faints, Regains Consciousness During Event


peres2Israeli President Shimon Peres was rushed to the hospital tonight after he fainted on stage while speaking at a Young Presidents Organization event in Ramat Aviv. He regained consciousness shortly afterwards but is being held overnight for observation. Peres was answering questions from the crowd after a talk on young leadership when he passed out, paramedics told Israeli media. The 86-year-old regained consciousness on his own a few seconds later, they added.

Initially Peres refused to be taken to hospital but eventually agreed to go to Tel Hashomer hospital in Tel Aviv for a check up.

Dr. Ari Shamis of the hospital told Channel 10 TV that the president would be held overnight for observation, adding that Peres was not in danger and that he had “spontaneously regained consciousness.”

Peres’ doctor, Professor Rafi Valden, told Israeli media the president was doing well and ascribed the episode to overwork.

“It was very hot there and he was standing up for a long tome and felt weak. He feels fine now and is speaking to well-wishers from around the world on the phone.”

Peres is not known to suffer from any health problems.

His spokeswoman, Ayelet Frisch blamed Peres’ notoriously grueling schedule and predicted he would be home the next morning.

“He feels great and we literally had to persuade him to go to the hospital,” she told Channel 2 TV. “He had a little flu last week, but continued work as usual.”

Born in Poland on Aug. 2, 1923, Peres immigrated to Israel in 1934.

Peres was elected to parliament on the Labor Party ticket in 1959 and held a succession of Israel’s most senior posts, including the premiership and the defense and foreign affairs portfolios before being elected in 2007 for a seven-year term in the nonpartisan, largely ceremonial office of president.

{JPost/Yair Israel}