Israeli President Shimon Peres
Former Israeli President Shimon Peres had a heart operation only ten days agoReuters

Former Israeli President Shimon Peres has been rushed to hospital in Tel Aviv after suffering chest pains just 10 days after he had a heart attack. The 92-year-old ninth president of Israel had undergone surgery on his heart last week for a constricted artery.

On 24 January Peres was said to have suffered a mild cardiac arrhythmia after paramedics visited his home. They decided to take the former statesman to hospital where he was to remain overnight for observation.

It was only 10 days ago that he was rushed to Tel Hashomer Hospital after a bout of chest pains. Doctors discovered that he had a narrowed artery and performed a cardiac catheterization - he remained in hospital for five days.

The Polish-born Peres was planning to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland, only last week, but was forced to cancel the trip on doctor's orders. Before Christmas rumours circulated that the former president from 2007 to 2014 had died.

A spokesperson for the president said: "It was diagnosed that he was suffering from an irregular heartbeat. Due to the diagnosis, his doctors decided that the 9th President will spend the night in hospital for observation and testing."

Peres served as Israeli prime minister twice and interim prime minister twice in a career that spanned 66 years. During his political career he held almost every major political office, serving in 12 cabinets, since Israel was founded in 1948.

He was the architect of Israel's controversial secret nuclear programme in 1959. Up until now Peres has remained politically active through a NGO he set up in 1996, the Peres Centre for Peace, which promotes co-existence between Arabs and Jews.

In 2014 he was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award the US government can give to an individual, by President Barack Obama. The US leader described him as the "essence of Israel itself" at the ceremony celebrating him.

Peres won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 alongside prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was later assassinated, and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for helping to negotiate the Oslo peace accords with the Palestinians in 1993.