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Health of Former Prime Minister Begin Has ‘improved Impressively’

The “general condition” of former Prime Minister Menachem Begin has “improved impressively” since he was admitted to Sha’are Zedek Hospital Wednesday, a hospital spokesman said.

Begin, 77, was diagnosed as having a mild case of pneumonia, which was not life-threatening, said Dr. Motti Lifschitz, deputy medical director of the hospital.

Begin was admitted at the advice of his doctor.

The former prime minister’s daughters, Hassia and Leah, nevertheless spent much of Thursday at his bedside in the geriatric department, as did Begin’s loyal aide, Yehiel Kadishai.

Kadishai told reporters that Begin skimmed the headlines about the ongoing negotiations between Likud and prospective coalition partners.

“Let’s hope it will be all right, ” Kadishai quoted Begin, but said the ex-prime minister “gave no advice.”

Begin has been a semi-recluse since his unexpected resignation from office in 1983. He has played no part in Likud politics since then, although he obviously remains loyal to the party he led to power in 1977.

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