Former Israeli president Shimon Peres on respirator after stroke

Condition of Nobel Peace Prize winner reported as serious with 93-year-old sedated

Shimon Peres twice taken to hospital for heart problems this year. Photograph: Reuters

Shimon Peres twice taken to hospital for heart problems this year. Photograph: Reuters


Shimon Peres, the Israeli former prime minister and president who shared a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to resolve the long-running conflict with the Palestinians, suffered a stroke and was hospitalised on Tuesday, his office said.

Mr Peres (93) was initially reported to be in stable condition and conscious, but later his office said he was sedated and breathing with a respirator. He suffered a small heart attack this year and had a pacemaker implanted a week ago to deal with an irregular heart beat.

Mr Peres, one of the last living founders of the modern state of Israel, served in most senior major government positions and played a key role through much of the country’s history as both warrior and peacemaker. He remains an influential figure in Israel and abroad, maintaining an active schedule through the Peres Center for Peace, a non-profit organization that promotes reconciliation, tolerance and innovation.

Word of his latest health problems prompted expressions of concern in Israel. “I wish former president Shimon Peres a speedy recovery,” prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu wrote on Twitter.

“Shimon, we love you and the entire people wish for you recovery.” The prime minister’s office said in a separate statement that Mr Netanyahu had spoken with the director of Chaim Sheba medical centre at Tel HaShomer to check on Mr Peres’s condition.

Hostile region

Mr Peres later served as president of Israel, a more ceremonial post, from 2007-2014. Army Radio reported that Mr Peres arrived at the hospital conscious and complaining about pain. He suffered a stroke at that point, the radio said. Doctors decided to sedate him to ease the strain on his brain.

– (New York Times service)