Mahmoud Abbas attempts to dispel stroke rumours with public appearance
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has mingled with people outside his West Bank headquarters in an apparent bid to dispel speculation that he has suffered a stroke.
The 82-year-old Fatah leader was filmed by Palestine TV as he greeted passers-by in Ramallah's city centre until after midnight on Tuesday.
Abbas was also seen holding a baby and sitting in a cafe during the outing.
Earier in the day, rumours had circulated alleging that the Palestinian leader had suffered a stroke. Abbas, who is a long time smoker, has suffered heart problems in the past and has been hospitalised for related issues.
While Abbas is often seen travelling abroad to meet world leaders, he has rarely ventured out of his Ramallah compound while in the West Bank.
Having been PA head since 2005, the octogenarian's ailing health has led to much speculation and political maneuvering behind the scenes in relation to his succession.