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Israeli Shas party rabbi released from hospital

Jan. 13, 2013 12:26 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 14, 2013 10:05 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- A 92-year-old Israeli rabbi who serves as the spiritual head of a powerful ultra-Orthodox political party was released from hospital on Sunday after treatment for a suspected minor stroke.

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who has largely set the terms under which his Shas party has agreed to join a succession of governments, was taken to Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital by ambulance on Saturday after feeling weak during sabbath prayers.

A hospital spokesman said Yosef was in stable condition. He was released and ordered to rest at home.

Shas draws support from the fast-growing community of religious Jews of Middle Eastern origin. The party is a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition and is expected to remain a partner after a Jan. 22 election he is forecast to win.

The Iraqi-born Yosef, a former chief rabbi of Israel, made headlines last summer when he called for prayers for Iran's destruction at time when speculation was high that Israel might attack Iran's nuclear facilities.
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