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
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
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.