Tehran, YJC. -- The spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, which holds 11 seats in the 120-member Israeli parliament, was seriously ill in hospital on Monday, one of his doctors said.
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, 93, was on a respirator after undergoing heart surgery in Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital, cardiologist Dan Gilon told Israeli television.
"His condition is serious but not irreversible," Gilon said.
Yosef, whose son Yitzhak was elected chief rabbi of Israel's Sephardic Jews in June, a post he himself had previously held, has been in and out of hospital for several months.
He wields enormous influence among Israeli Jews of Middle Eastern and North African ancestry, and has frequently been a kingmaker in the country's fickle coalition politics.
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in his sermon has called Arabs "snakes" whom "God regrets having created".
Rabbi also calls for annihilation of Arabs.