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30796Sharon to undergo cardiac catheterization on Thursday

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  • MEW
    Jan 1, 2006
      Last update - 11:08 01/01/2006

      Sharon to undergo cardiac catheterization on Thursday
      By Aluf Benn, Haaretz Correspondent

      Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is scheduled to undergo a cardiac catheterization
      on Thursday in Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem in Jerusalem in a
      procedure that is to be performed earlier than had been expected.

      The procedure is intended to fill a small hole between the atrial septa.

      This birth defect was discovered about two weeks ago in the comprehensive
      examinations conducted following Sharon's stroke. The premier's doctors
      believe the hole enabled the blood clot to reach his brain.

      The Prime Minister's Office refused on Saturday to comment on the
      catheterization date. Sharon's aides said that when all the details are
      finalized, an official announcement would be made.

      Sharon's doctors said last Monday that the catheterization would take place in
      "two to three weeks." Until then, Sharon has been receiving two daily shots to
      prevent blood clotting, to reduce the risk of another stroke.

      On Sunday Sharon will return to his office, after spending a long weekend on
      Sycamore Ranch. He will run the cabinet's weekly session, which will focus on
      the fight against crime. The ministers will discuss reinforcing police
      personnel and the witness protection plan proposed by Justice Minister Tzipi
      Livni and Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra.

      Afterward, Sharon will hold a debate on the Masa initiative to bring Jewish
      youth for a year's study in Israel, which is coordinated by cabinet secretary
      Yisrael Maimon.

      During the week Sharon is scheduled, among other things, to take part in a
      debate on the activity of the new building laws enforcement authority and a
      debate on the security arrangements in the village of Ghajar, which sits on
      the Lebanese border.

      Sharon will not meet American envoys Elliot Abrams and David Walsh, who are
      due in Israel on Thursday, as he will probably be in the hospital.

      Doctors have asked Sharon to shorten his work hours and rest, following his
      stroke. The prime minister's workload was reduced, and less important meetings
      were canceled.

      Sharon is also avoiding making public speeches outside his office, although
      last week he appeared every day in photographs in his office, at the cabinet
      meeting and lighting candles with various organizations.

      His aides say he is functioning and making decisions as usual.