Recent photos and videos of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in a Ramallah hospital in seemingly good health and spirits are intended to “refute rumors about the serious decline in his medical condition,” a senior official in the Palestinian Authority has divulged to Israel Hayom.

The official said reports last week that Abbas had been hospitalized for an operation on his ear were disinformation meant to disguise the fact that the P.A. head was “suffering from exhaustion and had a fever. Later, it turned out he had contracted pneumonia.”

The official said Abbas has kept up his involvement in P.A. affairs since being hospitalized.

The director of Istishari Arab Hospital in Ramallah, Dr. Said Sarhana, told the official P.A. television station: “Examinations and X-rays revealed that the president has pneumonia in his right lung. He is being treated with antibiotics and his condition has improved greatly. He will remain under observation for a few days more, until he recovers completely.”

In an effort to assuage fears surrounding Abbas’s ailing health, photos of him sitting in a hospital armchair and reading a newspaper were widely distributed.

The newspaper features a large cartoon depicting an Israeli soldier replacing a Palestinian baby’s bottle with a bottle of poison.

The image was distributed by Abbas’s bureau and widely reported by Israeli news outlets. An Israeli news outlet said it was “not clear” whether the choice of newspaper was deliberate.

The cartoon in the newspaper Abbas was photographed reading shows an Israeli soldier feeding poison to a Palestinian baby.